Bridge Puzzle


PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 30 June, 2015, 3:20pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 21 October, 2018, 11:56pm

Opening lead: ace of spades
This hand was played in the 1962 world championship match between Italy and the United States.
At the first table, the American East (Charles Coon) opened the bidding with one spade. South (Pietro Forquet) overcalled with two hearts, which West (Eric Murray) doubled for penalties. Coon, having opened on subpar values, removed the double to two spades. Forquet then bid three diamonds and continued on to five diamonds after North (Benito Garozzo) raised the suit.
There was nothing much to the play. The ace of spades was led, and Forquet took the rest of the tricks to score 620 points.
At the second table, where the North-South cards were held by Americans Ron Von der Porten and Lew Mathe, the bidding started in a highly unusual fashion when all four players, in turn, bid spades!
North      East      South      West
Pass      2 ♠         3 ♠           4 ♠
5 ♠         Pass      6 ♦           Dble
The two-spade opening by Walter Avarelli, playing the Roman Club system with Giorgio Belladonna, indicated a hand containing at least five spades and at least four clubs.
Mathe then showed a powerful hand by cuebidding spades directly. Belladonna raised his partner to four spades, and Von der Porten bid five spades, asking Mathe to bid a slam in his best suit.
Mathe obliged by bidding six diamonds, which Belladonna doubled. Von der Porten, showing complete faith and confidence in his partner, redoubled.
Belladonna, knowing his partner had some values in clubs, decided to lead that suit. As a result, Mathe made all 13 tricks to score 2,180 points, producing the largest single gain of the 144-board match.




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