DON'T TEACH MARTENS

By Radoslaw Kielbasinsky, Poland

 

After the match between Poland and San Marino, the players and a few kibitzers were analyzing the hands. On Board 15 Poland had gained 5 IMPs when San Marino were defeated in 4H whilst the Polish pair stopped in three.

 

              Board 15. N/S Vul. Dealer South.

 

                          S  Q T 9 7 4 3

                          H  7

                          D  A T 2

                          C  A J 8

        S  K                              S  A 6 2

        H  J 8 5 2                        H  A K T 9

        D  Q J 8 7                        D  K 4

        C  T 6 5 3                        C  K 9 4 2

                          S  J 8 5

                          H  Q 6 4 3

                          D  9 6 5 3

                          C  Q 7

 

"It is just as well you stayed out of game," remarked a kibitzer.

 

"Not really," remarked Krzystof Martens. "It's cold!"

 

"Impossible! You have to lose a heart, a diamond and two clubs."

 

"Maybe. You want to bet?"

 

The stake was fixed and Martens proceeded to explain.

 

"After a spade lead to the king, you play a diamond to the king and a second diamond to the queen and North's ace. His

best defense is to play a heart.You win with the ace, ruff a spade and play a club. North ducks, so you win with the

king and ruff the ace of spades!"

 

"You throw a club on the jack of diamonds and ruff your last diamond. This will be the four-card ending:"

 

                           S  Q T

                           H  ---

                           D  ---

                           C  A J

 

             S  ---                     S  ---

             H  J                       H  K T

             D  ---                     D  ---

             C  T 6 5                   C  9 4

 

                           S  ---

                           H  Q 6 4

                           D  ---

                           C  Q

 

"You get off play with a club and the defense is helpless. If South is allowed to hold the trick with the queen of clubs, he is enplayed for the moment but will get his trump trick in the end. If North overtakes you simply play your remaining club on whatever card he plays next and South is forced to ruff and play into your heart tenace."

 

The kibitzer shook his head and paid up.

 

A few moments later he came to life again: "How come you guys missed such an easy game?"

 

(He still hasn't realized that an opening lead of the CQ would have won him his bet!)