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Justin Lall, Tom Hanlon win in Ireland

90th Anniversary of founding (1925) on Regent Bridge Club in Dublin (Ireland). International 90th Anniversary Pairs on Jan. 3rd.



On January 9, 2015 WBF Executive Council Members and Past President Ernesto d’Orsi passed away. Beginning in 1980, he held numerous administrative positions with World Bridge Federation.



John Ramos and Chris Willenken report on the final match between Monaco and Nickell.

Board 14

East Dealer

Neither side vulnerable






West                     East

♠J1084                  ♠975

♥10852                 ♥KQ76

♦Q10                     ♦864

♣A108                   ♣J74






Open Room

West     North    East        South

Nunez   Katz       Fantoni Nickell


1♦           Pass       2♠*                        Pass      

3♣          Pass       3♥                                           Pass

3NT        Pass       Pass       Pass

Closed Room

West                     North    East                        South

Levin     Helgemo              Weinstein           Helness


1♦           Pass       1♠                                           Pass

2♦           Pass       2♥                                           Pass

3♣          Pass       3♦                                           Pass

3♥           Pass       3♠                                           Pass

3NT        Pass       Pass                       Pass

*five spades, game-force           

In the Closed Room, where Levin had promised six diamonds, after heart five-three-queen-ace and a diamond to dummy’s ace, declarer didn’t bat an eye when the diamond ten dropped under the ace; with the information Helgemo had, a sometime false card of the ten from ten-low would have been routine. However, in the Open Room, where Nunes had promised only five diamonds, the situation was considerably more complex. If the diamond ten were an honest card, declarer’s only chance to make the contract would be to find LHO with queen-ten-doubleton. Could LHO afford to false card from ten-low?

At first blush, it might seem that the ten from ten-low would be risky, as it might expose partner’s hypothetical jack-fourth to a second-round finesse, allowing a no-play contract to make. However, a declarer with king-queen-nine-fifth would need to consider the possibility that LHO held jack-ten-low (a mandatory false carding situation), and might have jack-ten-doubleton. The mathematics involved is slightly too complicated for a family magazine, but its upshot is this: As long as second hand plays the ten from ten-low at least one-third of the time (but not too much more often than that), declarer does best to fall back on the a priori odds when holding either king-queen-nine-fifth or king-jack-nine-sixth in the closed hand. In this match, both declarers finessed on the second round of diamonds, and both West players briskly returned the ten of hearts for down one.

Board 15 was a five-three-fit four-spade contract that was a little worse than a finesse; the finesse lost, and “a little worse” came to pass when the trumps broke five-zero. MONACO gained 3 imps when Katz-Nickell failed to earn a second vulnerable under trick by correctly timing the defense to tap out declarer.

On the final board of the quarter, Fantoni and Weinstein were both declarer in a vulnerable five clubs with a trump suit of ace-queen-ten-fifth opposite nine-eight-fourth in dummy. In the Open Room, Fantoni, who had faced no opposing bidding from his non vulnerable opponents, took the textbook safety play for one loser in the suit by cashing the ace. (This handles both stiff honor behind and king-jack-doubleton behind without a second-round guess).

In the Closed Room, Weinstein’s LHO had made a bid indicating short clubs, so made the percentage play of passing the club nine. LHO held the singleton jack, so the board was a push, leaving the match score 38-16 in favor of MONACO.


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