Saturday, January 19, 2008

Defending Against the Best

My friend Jason recently witnessed this hand played on BBO--South was none other than the Italian maestro Benito Garozzo...his opponents were on their toes during this hand and deserve some props!













West dealt and opened 1 Diamond, East responded 1 Heart, and South (Garozzo) overcalled 1 Spade. This was passed back to East who bid 2 Hearts and North accepted the push to 2 Spades, which became the final contract.

The defense started with the king and queen of clubs followed by a diamond shift. Garozzo won in dummy and played a heart to the jack and ace. West continued diamonds and declarer won, cashed the king of hearts and ruffed a heart low, West pitching a diamond. Next came a club ruffed with the queen, West shedding another diamond. Another heart ruff was declarer's 6th trick and led to this 4 card ending:













Garozzo led the jack of spades from dummy. East followed with the deuce and West carefully unblocked the 7! Now when declarer continued with a club, East could ruff with the 4, letting west underruff with the 3 and win the last 2 tricks with a defensive trump coup. Well done! East had to preserve his 4 spot of trumps and West his 3--otherwise West would be hopelessly endplayed.

By the way, I just started reading Pietro Forquet's classic "Bridge With the Blue Team" and I highly recommend it. It features many more Garozzo hands, most of which feature a more satisfying conclusion for him :).

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