Source: IBPA

Winner: Matt Smith (Australia)
Journalist: Paul Lavings (Australia)
Article: A Matter of Timing
Event: 2017 ANC Youth Interstate Teams
Source: IBPA Bulletin 631, August 2017, p. 9

A Matter of Timing
Paul Lavings, Sydney

Playing for New South Wales in the ANC Youth Interstate Teams event, Matt Smith faced this problem in Round 7 of the Qualifying Round Robin on a board where many declarers failed to make their four-spade contract:

Matt Smith
Matt Smith

Smith played with great foresight.

West led the eight of hearts; Smith won with the king, cashed the ace of clubs, finessed to the jack of hearts and pitched the ten of clubs on the ace of hearts. He then ruffed a club high, came back to hand with a low trump, ruffed a second club high, came back with another low trump and ruffed a third club.

In all, he scored three trump tricks with ace-king-jack, three club ruffs in dummy with the queen-ten-nine, three hearts and a club for ten tricks and 10 IMPs.

If you let the heart lead run to the jack, the timing is gone for the three club ruffs in dummy. Smith’s line succeeds when the heart finesse wins (by no means a certainty), hearts are no worse than 5-3 and the club ace stands up.

Other Shortlisted Candidates:

Bulletin                 Name                   Author
Nov. 2017, p. 15 Ola Rimstedt         PO Sundelin
Feb. 2018, p. 7   Adam Grossack     Phillip Alder
Oct. 2017, p. 7   Noah Apteker        TomTownsend
Oct. 2017, p. 11 Stig Dybdahl         Knut Kjærnsrød
Oct. 2017, p. 12 Ola Rimstedt         Knut Kjærnsrød

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