Source: The Spokesman-Review – 25 Ene 2003

On the anniversary of the conversion of  Saint Paul on the road to Damascus, here is a deal from a time when Paul Soloway first played with Bob Hamman, in the semifinals of the American International Trials.

Dealer South E/W Vul

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

Opening lead: 6

When Hamman and Soloway were East-West, Lew Stansby opened four spades with the South cards, and played there. On a heart lead declarer won and hastened to play diamonds to discard clubs.

Bob Hammann & Paul Soloway
Bob Hamman & Paul Soloway

Soloway as East ruffed the third diamond and was overrurfed; now declarer led a low trump from his hand. After Hamman took his ace, he had to find the killing defense.

Hamman saw the necessity of shifting to a club but shifted to the club ace rather than a low club. Not to worry— Soloway unblocked the king under it. and now Hamman could cash the club queen and give his partner the club ruff for down one.

Curiously, in the other semifinal, West was faced with a tougher problem: He was defending five spades after East had sacrificed in five hearts. Of course, there is no legitimate play for 11 tricks in spades on a heart lead. However, declarer did the best he could when he led a low trump out of his hand at once: West took his spade ace and reasonably enough cashed the club ace. East played the two. Unluckily for him he was playing normal signals so now West tried to give his partner a diamond ruff, and five spades made in comfort!