Handle with Care

Hand of the Week

Dlr:
South
VUL:
E-W
North
♠ A K 6 2
J 6 3
10 9 6
♣ J 10 7
South
♠ 7
K 9 7 4 2
A K 4
♣ K Q 4 2
West North East South
1
Pass 2 Pass 4
All Pass

This deal from the Bermuda Bowl in Bermuda in 2000 was mishandled by many declarers. One of those who succeeded was Fred Gitelman, a Canadian now living in the USA. The hands have been rotated.

West led a low spade, taken by Gitelman in dummy. He did not fall into the first trap, cashing the ♠K prematurely, in which case he would have lost control. Instead, he continued with a heart to the king, felling the queen. Gitelman realized that continuing hearts would again result in his losing control, so he played the ♣K to West’s ace. West persisted in spades.

Gitelman, who had played defensively to that point, realized it was time to change gears. He won the ♠K, ruffed a spade, cashed his top diamonds and the ♣Q and crossed to dummy’s ♣J.

The fourth round of spades allowed him to score a ninth trick with a ruff, then his last club was ruffed with the ♥J. East could overruff with the A, but was down to the 10 8 while Gitelman was poised over him with the 9 7. No matter what East did, Gitelman could come to 10 tricks.

The full deal:

North
♠ A K 6 2
J 6 3
10 9 6
♣ J 10 7
West
♠ Q 8 4 3
Q
J 8 7 5 2
♣ A 6 5
East
♠ J 10 9 5
A 10 8 5
Q 3
♣ 9 8 3
South
♠ 7
K 9 7 4 2
A K 4
♣ K Q 4 2


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