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Fernando Lema: The Black Arrow

Posted on 07 January 2012

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The Black Arrow* – On Thursday 4th of January I was kibitzing Jimmy Cayne’s usual team match on BBO and I enjoyed this hand, interesting and instructive. Alfredo Versace, world Champion, sits North and bids 4 Spades, which East doubles, thus revealing his holding.


Dealer: W

All vul


Lead: 4 of clubs




 East leads the 4 of clubs, dummy plays low, West puts up the Queen and continues with the King. Alfredo ruffs with the 10 of spades, East overruffs with the Jack and plays back the four of diamonds.

Alfredo must have thought: East has already shown 4 spades and a singleton club, if he is 4441 I can make this.

He wins the diamond with dummy’s Queen and plays a heart to the King, he then cashes the Ace and King of diamonds, pitching clubs. He then ruffs the last diamond to get back to dummy. Now he cashes Ace and Queen of hearts, and ruffs the last heart.

This was the situation at this point:

Scary! Alfredo plays the four of spades, and claims 10 tricks.

Alfredo Versace’s own comment is: “Best wishes Fernando, nice hand. Never double: only if the shape is 4441 I can be sure spades are 4-0. Goodbye!”

 Remember: when you play against a great champion, it is best not to double any contracts even though you are pretty sure he is going down!

*Black Arrow is Alfredo’s car nickname.

Fernando Lema


January 07, 2012 (English edition by Laura Cecilia Porro for Neapolitan Club)

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Norberto Bocchi


The great Italian champion Norberto Bocchiwill contribute articles on a regular basis to Neapolitan Club. Norberto will refer in his column ‘My Way’ to political issues which may arise in the bridge world and sometimes he will describe interesting hands. Read Bocchi's column»   Read Bocchi's interviews»

Silvio Sbarigia


Silvio Sbarigia

SILVIO SBARIGIA is a pharmacist; he was born in Rome and lives there. He has won the European championship in 1975 with legendary Blue Team, runner up at 1974’s and at Olympic games of 1976.  Sbarigia is member of Neapolitan Club Technical Commettee. His bridge problems aren’t difficult; just we need to think on a plan and to avoid the instinctive playing. Bridge quizzes by Sbarigia »


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