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2012 TGRs Auction Pairs: The Sacrifice of a King

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In chess, a sacrifice is a move giving up a piece in the hopes of gaining tactical or positional compensation in other forms. A sacrifice could also be a deliberate exchange of a chess piece of higher value for an opponent’s piece of lower value. Any chess piece except the king can be sacrificed.  In contrast, in bridge, even the king may be sacrificed in pursuit of a satisfactory outcome. During the weekend from 14 to 16 January 2012 in the TGRs Bridge Club, 44 Great Cumberland Place, London, was played the third annual TGRS Auction Pairs, described in their site with these words: This event is designed for every bridge player who wants to test their mettle and earn their value at Auction. What does that mean? This event is for you if you have money, want to win money, can play bridge, or just love to be in the action!

54 pairs played this year edition, among which we can mention: Zia MAHMOOD – David BAKHSHI; Marshall LEWIS – David BURN, Alexander ALLFREY – Andrew ROBSON,  Juan Carlos VENTIN – Frederic WRANG, Simon GILLIS – Boye BROGELAND. The winners of the TGRs Auction Pairs, for the second consecutive year were Adalsteinn Jorgensen and Bjarni Einarsson, from Iceland.

The event was broadcast on BBO and here I’ll tell you a hand where one of the defenders sacrificed his trump King to defeat the contract.

N/S: Frank Svindahl- Geir Brekka (Norway)  O/E: Beata RUMINSKA – Stanislaw RUMINSKI  (Poland)

MP, Dealer: East, Vul None

1) 11-12 with 6 spades cards

Lead: CJ

Geir Brekka led his stiff CJ, dummy played low as both North (C5) and declarer (C4) did. South already arrived in an uncomfortable position. A spade continuation would have allowed East to fulfill his contract – inevitably a few tricks later he would find himself end-played and obliged to play heart or diamond, allowing the declarer to enter dummy to pitch his club losers. A diamond continuation, looking at dummy was very unattractive. So South continued with a low heart to 6, 2 (showing an odd number of hearts) and King. At this point declarer played his only diamond. Brekka already knew declarer’s shape: 6 spades, 2 hearts, 1 diamond and 4 clubs. Therefore he won DA, cashed HA and continued with the S10 won by Ruminski with the Jack.

Now things were:

When East played the SA South immediately realized that if followed with a small spade, he was going to be end-played in the next trick with his SK, and that he would have to play a red suit to dummy, helping declarer to pitch his club losers. So Brekkea unblocked his Trump King (!): trading one trick for three and defeating the contract down two.

 A nice defense, well done Geir.


Ana Roth

January 24, 2012


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