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Bridge 1/11
One slam in and one slam out
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    After 44 of the 48 boards in the World Transnational Open Teams final, M. Bessis, T. Bessis and Multon from France, Fantoni and Nunes from Italy, and Zimmermann from Switzerland led Gromova, Ponomareva, Dubinin and Gromov from Russia, and Balicki and Zmudzinski from Poland by 10 international match points.
    The next two deals were flat. Then came the explosive Board 47.
    The given auction was by Thomas Bessis (South) and his father, Michel. North's three-diamond rebid showed game-forcing strength with at least 5-5 in the red suits.
    What should Andrei Gromov (West) lead against six no-trump?
    If declarer guesses the play, there is no killing lead. But why should South assume that the club finesse is losing and the heart finesse winning? To make matters worse for Bessis, West led the heart eight! To make his contract now, South had to take a trick-one finesse, but that was impossible to find. Eventually declarer took the club finesse to go down one, losing one spade and one club.
    The Poles reached six no-trump by North after an auction in which South described his hand and North made inquiring bids. Six no-trump would have been beaten by a club lead, but that was impossible to find. Claudio Nunes chose a disastrous heart seven, giving Cezary Balicki an easy 12 tricks after he knocked out the spade ace.
    Plus 50 and plus 990 gave the East Europeans 14 imps and the lead by 4.
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