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Bridge 1/1

A psychic call that worked

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Posted: December 27, 2007 12:54 p.m.
Updated: January 16, 2008 5:00 a.m.
    Happy New Year to all of my readers.
    It is rare for a bridge player to make a psychic bid or to falsecard during the play. It is dangerous to adopt tactics better suited to poker because partner, who is also fooled, might sabotage the scheme. In this deal, though, Valentin Kovachev from Bulgaria found a brilliant psychic double that won last year's bidding award from the International Bridge Press Association.
    The match, against one of the favored teams in the 2007 Spring Foursomes in England, was going badly. The auction started with four natural bids. Then Tony Forrester (South), who is generally considered Britain's best player, control-bid (cue-bid) four clubs to show his club ace. David Bakhshi (North) control-bid in diamonds. South used Blackwood. North jumped to six diamonds, promising one ace and a diamond void. South signed off in six hearts.
    Now Kovachev found a double that would occur to almost no one.
    After two passes, Forrester thought for several minutes. It sounded as if West had two certain heart tricks, so Forrester retreated to six no-trump. Error! West doubled again, and the defense took the first five spade tricks for down four, plus 800.
    Kovachev's teammates bid and made six clubs for a 17-imp gain.
    The story ended with good news and bad news. Kovachev's team won this match by 3 imps, but lost in the final in overtime by 4 imps.
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