ACBL Bridge Beat #109: Corporate America vs Congress 1993

Congress made its third attempt to defeat Corporate America on July 22, 1993 at the Sheraton Washington in conjunction with the Summer NABC.

Trailing by 3 IMPs going into the last hand, Corporate America’s Jimmy Cayne and Rita Shugart bid to a heart game which they made with an overtrick, while the Congress pair rested in a partscore. Since it was a vulnerable board, Corporate gained 11 IMPs to win, 60-53.

Congress was pleased to have held their own against the Corporate Team of seasoned players – four of the six held major championship titles in ACBL Tournament play.

Playing for Corporate America were team captain Warren Buffett and his partner George Gillespie III, Rita Shugart and Jimmy Cayne, and Nick Nickell and Warren Spector.

The Congress team was co-captains Arlan Stangeland and Jim Leach, Hank Brown, Jim Bunning, James Jeffords, Bob Kastenmeier, Bob Packwood, Judge Mel Wells, and Roger Zion.

Bob Kastenmeier was the star on the Congress team picking up 10 IMPs on the first board of the match and 13 IMPs on the fourth board.

Board: 1

Dlr: North ♠ 10 8 6  
Vul: None A 5 4 3  
  ♣ J 10 6 5 2  
♠ A 9 5   ♠ K 7 3
Q 7 6   K 8 2
J 3 2   A Q 4
♣ Q 9 8 4   ♣ A K 7 3
  ♠ Q J 4 2  
  J 10 9  
  K 10 9 8 7 5  
  ♣ —  
Brown Cayne Kastenmeier Shugart
West North East South
    1♣ 1
2♣ Pass 3NT All Pass

Kastenmeier won the opening spade lead with king and immediately led a club to the queen – the key play. Now he could win four club tricks despite the 5-0 break. As you can see playing the ace or king first guarantees a stopper for North. Kastenmeier was now able to lead through North’s holding twice. As a result he won four clubs, two diamonds, a heart and two spades.

The contract went down at the other table and Congress opened the match with a 10 IMP gain.

Board: 4

Dlr: West ♠ A 10 2  
Vul: Both K Q J 10 6 3  
  K 7 3  
  ♣ K  
♠ Q 5 3   ♠ K J 9 8 7 6 4
9 8 2   A
A 10 8 4  
♣ A 4 3   ♣ Q J 9 8 7
  ♠ —  
  7 5 4  
  Q J 9 6 5 2  
  ♣ 10 6 5 2  
Brown Cayne Kastenmeier Shugart
West North East South
  1 4♠ Pass
4NT Dbl 5 Pass
5♠ All Pass    

Kastenmeier leaped to 4♠ over Cayne’s opening 1, and Hank Brown decided he liked his two aces plus trump support. He bid Blackwood, and Cayne doubled in an attempt to muddy the auction. Brown signed off in 5♠.

Kastenmeier won the opening heart lead and drove out the trump ace as Rita Shugart discarded a diamond. He ruffed the heart return and drew the rest of the trumps. Next came clubs, and Kastenmeier did not make the mistake of finessing. He led a club to the ace, and when Cayne’s king fell, he had his contract. This represented a 13 IMP gain, because the corporate pair went down in slam at the other table.

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