2014 Schapiro Spring Foursomes: The Anita Sinclair’s victory

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Anita Sinclair won the 2014’s Schapiro Spring Foursomes, maybe the all time strongest edition since when the event was set up in 1962; she defeated Lavazza in semi-final and Allfrey in final.

The Anita Sinclair’s Team: Anita Sinclair, Marion Michielsen, Sabine Auken, Zia Mahmood, Andrew McIntosh, Roy Welland.

And the Alexander Allfrey’s: Alexander Allfrey, Tony Forrester, David Gold, Andrew Robson.

The following hand was played in the match Hinden vs Lavazza, won by the former.

sinclair 03

At the other table Agustin Madala opened 3; France Hinden passed, Norberto Bocchi raised to 5, and Graham Osborne’s 5 ended the auction.

Was Bianchedi’s 6♠ appropriate? Weren’t perhaps Allerton’s 2 and Madala’s 3 too much aggressive? Let be unanswered these questions, just it must be noted that in spite of the violent pre-empts, and as the cards lay, both the E-Ws at least named the winning contract, 5♠.

After the lead, Duboin could count ten tricks, and the eleventh after A. There were three chances to find the twelfth trick: the A well placed; if it was not, a club ruff by Declarer, hoping they break 3-3; if they didn’t, still there was an automatic squeeze diamond-hearth, which in facts would have worked because Allerton had the expected Q and the hoped three (or more) hearts. The combined percentage for club break and A placing was 67, and still it was possible to try the squeeze; therefore, as the cards were sensibly supposed to lay, the slam had been well called.

Duboin took the lead by ace, discarding a club; then played club to the king, club ace and little spade to ♠J. Now club from dummy, ruffed by queen (thus giving up the protection against the trump ten fourth). The club revealed to be 4-2. He then played hearth, discovering the bad position of the ace, and here the hand ended: Cooke, who was watching the dummy’s hearts as a cat might stare a mastiff, immediately returned hearts, destroying the communicating menace and the squeeze itself.

A further note is necessary, mainly for the intermediate players who don’t know the technique of the squeeze. When it occurs to rectify the count, that is give opponents a trick in order to reach the state “all winners but one”, it is advisable to do it as soon as possible, before that opponents could “read the hand” and guess the destroying return. Duboin didn’t do it; he first tried the clubs, not hearts. This because the immediate heart return, which was quite obvious, would have destroyed not only the squeeze, but also the last entry for cashing the fourth club, had them split 3-3.


Paolo Enrico Garrisi


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