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Bridge 10/24

Save the best for the end

In the Warren Buffett Cup, bridge's answer to golf's Ryder Cup, the United States defeated Europe. The winning team was Jill Levin, Jill Meyers, David Berkowitz, Larry Cohen, Fred Gitelman, Bob Hamman, Geoff Hampson, Bobby Levin, Zia Mahmood, Paul Soloway, Steve Weinstein and Roy Welland, with Donna Compton as the nonplaying captain.
    The fun event was held a week before the Ryder Cup and only a few miles from it. No doubt this will become a biennial tournament, in 2008 presumably being played in Louisville, Ky.
    Soloway did brilliantly on this deal. What would you have led from his West hand against five hearts doubled?
    Cohen (East) wanted to act over North's pre-emptive four-heart raise, but he was a tad too weak. Soloway, though, made a bold takeout double, which East converted to the laydown four spades. Paul Hackett from England pushed on to five hearts.
    When your opponents sacrifice, it is usually best to lead a trump, which Soloway did here. Declarer won on the board and called for a diamond, East accurately putting in his nine. If South had covered with his king, West would have had to win with his ace and underlead his spade ace to get the maximum down three, but declarer ducked the diamond in his hand, allowing East to lead his remaining trump. Now South was held to six hearts and two ruffs on the board for minus 500.
    At the other table, Daniela von Arnim from Germany started with the ace and another spade, letting declarer Hamman escape for down one.

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