Source: IBPA Bulletin Aug 2022

2006 Buffet Cup in Ireland

Larry Cohen
In September, 2006, the U.S. Ryder Cup golf team lost to Europe in Dublin, but the U.S. bridge team defeated Europe in the inaugural Warren Buffett Cup. Both events pitted 12 of America’s best against 12 of Europe’s best. This deal featured a world-class defensive play by our Italian opponent, Giorgio Duboin: Dealer West. E/W Vul
A K 3 K 9 J 6 3 10 8 7 6 2
Q 10 9 5 4 4 10 5 2 A K 4 3 8 7 6 A J 10 6 K 9 8 J 9 5
J 2 Q 8 7 5 3 2 A Q 7 4 Q
West North East South
Bocchi Cohen Duboin Berkowitz
Pass 1
1 2NT Pass 3
Pass Pass Pass
Against three hearts, Norberto Bocchi led a top club and switched to a diamond. This went to the eight and queen, and David Berkowitz cleared the diamonds by playing the ace and another. East won and shifted to a spade. Declarer won in dummy, ruffed a club, and played a heart to the king. We can see that declarer has to lose only two trump tricks. East wins the ace, and declarer can go to dummy to run the nine of hearts. If East covers, declarer uses the eight-seven to drive out the ten. If East ducks the heart nine, declarer has a sure thing to let it run (not caring if it loses). But, East made a spectacular play. On dummy’s king of hearts, he ducked smoothly! Another heart was played from dummy to the ten and … put yourself in declarer’s shoes. Expecting from the play and bidding that West might have a doubleton ace of hearts, declarer played low on the ten. He expected the ace would drop on air and this would produce a valuable overtrick for plus 170 and a potential win on the board. Disaster! East’s ten held the trick, West showed out, and East had to get two more trump tricks for down one and a win to Europe (the other North-South made plus 140 in three hearts). This in-tempo defensive gem was indicative of the high-level bridge that was played throughout this tournament.

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