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Local Teacher Wins Open Pairs

  by Charles H. Whitebrook

February, 1979 — Fort Lauderdale News & Sun-Sentinel

Mabel Pavlicek shows her heels to the field

January’s Florida Regional was a good one for Broward County players. Foremost of all, the coveted Open Pairs was won by Mabel Pavlicek, paired with Walter Murphy of Miami, by almost two and a half boards over second place.

Mabel conducts some of the area’s most popular bridge classes with her husband Richard, a nationally known expert. “She’s a clever player and knows what’s going on at the table”, said Richard. “Those who underestimate her ability usually regret it.”

The following deal was instrumental in her win. Mabel credits her Precision system (strong artificial club opening) with the good result, as this allowed West to make two revealing bids. (Note the different impact if South opens one spade.) Even so, she took full advantage by setting up a flexible squeeze-endplay.

3 NT SouthS
H 8 4 3
D A Q 9 8 6 5 3
C 5 3 2
None VulWest

1 S
3 C

2 D
3 D

1 C1
2 NT
3 NT
S A J 10 9 5
H K 5
D 4
C K Q 10 7 4
Table S 6 3
H Q J 10 7 6 2
D J 10 2
C 9 6

Lead: S J
S K Q 8 7 4 2
H A 9
D K 7
C A J 8

1. 16+ points

Mabel won the opening lead with the spade king and proceeded to run six diamond tricks. With everyone discarding as best they could, this was the ending before the seventh diamond was led:

H 8 4 3
D 5
C 5 3
win 4/6
S A 10
H K 5
Table S 6
H Q J 10
C 9 6

North leads
S Q 8
H A 9

On dummy’s last diamond, East threw a club, South the heart nine — and West wished he were playing backgammon: (1) If he throws a spade, declarer enters her hand with a club and leads the spade eight to establish the queen; (2) if he throws a heart, declarer wins her two aces and exits with a club to endplay West in spades; (3) if he throws a club, declarer merely wins her club ace to drop the other honor.

Actually, West chose Option 2, but at this point it’s just for the record. Making two overtricks earned Mabel a top score on the board.

This week’s bridge gag

A bridge player went to an auction sale, determined to buy a prized parrot. After lengthy bidding, he finally prevailed to win. “For what I had to pay,” he told the auctioneer, “this parrot better talk!”

“Talk?” came the reply. “Who do you think has been bidding against you for the past 10 minutes?”

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© 1979 Charles H. Whitebrook