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2012 Memphis – Vanderbilt Cup: The Italian flag leaves Memphis

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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



Result: 6♣-2

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:

South North

3♣      4

5♣      Pass

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.

The play:


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 finesseK, 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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