Diamond (177-76 over O’Rourke), will face Bertheau (109-99 over Gordon), in the first semifinal; first because Diamond have now the number one that Lou Ann O’Rourke sneaked to Fleisher. In the second semifinal, Amoils (156-94 against Consus Red), will face Falk: the latter beat 159-134 Jacobs, the team with the last Italian players, Bocchi and Madala. The hand of the day comes from the match Amoils-Consus Red. It doesn’t contain tricolour squeezes or grand coups, however it is interesting because it shows as even the champions could be bewildered by a seemingly simple hand.
E-W Vuln. Open Room
South’3♣ is very aggressive, with only three points by minor honours. Right or wrong, the question is: is such aggressiveness in the pair’s style? Or did the over-optimistic North trust in at least a king somewhere? Anyway, after the negative 4♣ response, North gives up the Grand Slam Try. Note, however, that also holding South the ♣K, the slam (the small slam), would still need of a finesse.
In Closed Room the auction were more accurate:
Here South could have bid heart as control, but a second round control shouldn’t be showed with a so poor hand. Anyway, his 5♣ is a clear and definitive sign off, and North obeys the order.
West led by ♠6, thus destroying any hope to find the spade queen onside. South won, and now there are two plans:
A) Draw the ♣A, then finesse ♥K, going to dummy by trump. The percentages are 33,33 per cent to find the stiff club king and 50 for the finesse: 66,66 (combined).
B) Play ♥A and heart to ruff, then finesse club. If it fails, there is still the hope to find the heart king third, hence discarding the diamond or spade loser on the ♥Q. This plan would have 66,50 per cent of success, a little less than A). Just a little less, but less.
The Declarer played for the plan B), being sternly punished from that trifling 0,16 per cent.
Paolo Enrico Garrisi
March 24, 2012
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