Source: IBPA Bulletin Feb 2018

The Michael Seamon United States Junior Bridge Championships took place in Atlanta from December 27 to 31, 2017. The strongest team was Adam Kaplan/ Christian Jolly, Zachary Grossack/Oren Kriegel and
Benjamin Kristensen/Kevin Rosenberg.

Phillip Alder
Phillip Alder

Four of them, Kaplan, Jolly, Grossack and Rosenberg, won the World
Under-26 Youth title last August in Lyon, France. (The other two players on that team, Anam Tebha and Adam Grossack, are now too old to compete.)

In Atlanta, the Kaplan team won the USA1 spot easily. Their opponents conceded the final with 15 of the 120 boards to be played, with Kaplan ahead by 228 IMPs to 166. They will surely be the favourites for the
World Championship, which will be played in Suzhou in August. That town is some 65 miles west of Shanghai. Grossack’s play on this deal caught my eye.

Dealer South. Both Vul

3
9 8 3
A Q 9 7 5 3
A 8 4
10 8 4 2
A Q 7 6
6
J 9 3 2
K 7 6 5
J 5 2
K J 10 8 2
6
A Q J 9
K 10 4
4
K Q 10 7 5
West North East South
Kriegel Grossack
1
Pass 1 Pass 1
Pass 3 Pass 3NT
Pass Pass Pass

At the other table, South had ended in five clubs doubled and lost 800, so the result in three notrump did not matter much–but Grossack did not know that.

Grossack’s one-spade rebid indicated an unbalanced hand, a style I really like. So Kriegel, knowing his partner had five or more clubs, was happy to invite game with his three-club rebid. Then South, with hearts held, went for the nine-trick game.

West led the heart six: three, jack, king. Declarer cashed his club king, then played a club to dummy’s ace. Strangely, this sort of squeezed East. Knowing South had four spades, East did not want to pitch from that suit, and he wished to keep his hearts. So he discarded the diamond deuce.

The significance of this card was not wasted on Grossack. Surely this meant that East had started with at least five diamonds. So, declarer played a spade to his queen, returned a diamond to dummy’s ace to
denude West of that suit, then ran the heart eight. West cashed his hearts to leave this position:



Q 9 7 5
8
10 8 2


J 9
K 7 6

K J
A J


Q 10 5

West led the spade ten, ducked to South’s jack. Then Grossack cashed his club queen and played another club. He claimed the last two tricks with the spade ace and club ten. Very nicely done.