Buenos Aires, March 20, 2016

Yesterday were played the 2016 Vanderbilt Cup semifinals, where team “Lavazza”, the number one seed, faced the team Bertheau, this hand was the third set board number 1.

IMPs:  Dealer North;  None Vulnerable

Q 9 5 2
A Q 8 4
A Q J 7
A J 7
Q 8 7 4 3
K 9
6 4 3
K 10 6 3
A K J 2
7 6 5 2
8 4
10 9 6
J 10 3
K 10 9 8 2

Open Room:

West North East South
Zagorin Duboin Bertheau Zia
1 Dbl 3
4 Pass Pass Pass

Duboin led his A and after winning the first trick switched to a trump, Zagorin won with the A and played a spade to the J, North’s Q won the third trick and with a good defense declarer can no longer win his contract.

Duboin repeated spades to West’s A. Zagorin ruffed a club in dummy and cashed the K  expecting trumps to be 2/2, but West through a small diamond.

Now he needed only to find South with four spades and the A, a very unlikely thing, but when Zagorin cashed the K, Zia ruffed and played a diamond for two down.

Closed Room:

West North East South
Madala Drijver Bianchedi Brink
1 Dbl 2
Dbl 3 Pass Pass
4 Pass Pass Pass

North made the same lead A and also switched to a trump, but in this table the declarer was Agustín Madala, who once again took advantage of a difficult contract, to finish with a piece of art.

Agustin Madala
Agustin Madala

Agustín won the second trick with the A, and cashed the K, watching North pitching a club. In the next trick Agus played a spade to the A and continued with the J, when North covered with his Q, he played dummy’s K…South’s played his 8…This did not go unnoticed to declarer.

Now Agustin was in complete control of the situation, he went to his hand playing a heart to the Q thus eliminating the remaining trump from South hand and played the 7. North played his 5 and Agus played small from dummy….winning the trick with the seven.

From here everything was easy, he ruffed a club in dummy and over the 10, Agus pitched a club loser, limiting the defense to only three tricks.

Agustín made, 4 spades, 5 hearts and a club ruff, even it seemed so easy!!!

420 + 100 = 11 IMPs. A set that Lavazza team ended up winning by 49 IMPs, showing a broad mastery over his opponent.

Editor’s Note: “Pico” is the nickname with which old Argentine Bridge Masters call Agustin.