Wubbo de Boer, the Netherlands

Author: Eric Kokish (Canada).

Occasion: The Generali World Individual, Paris, May 1996




Game All                 S  7 2

Dealer South             H  J 5 3

                         D  A J 5 4

                         C  9 8 7 6


       S  Q J T 5 4 3                   S  K 6

       H  K T 9 8 4 2                   H  Q 6

       D  3                             D  K Q T 7 6 2

       C  -                             C  Q T 5


                         S  A 9 8

                         H  A 7

                         D  9 8

                         C  A K J 4 3 2


      West           North          East         South

     de.Boer         Chemla        Kokish        Nartis

       -              -              -           1NT

      2S             Dbl            Pass         3NT

      4H             Pass           4S           All Pass


Wubbo de Boer ruffed the opening club lead. If declarer follows with a heart to the queen, the contract fails because the defense can win and clear trumps, and declarer must lose a second heart trick. So Wubbo guessed correctly to run the H10 round to East's ace.

Back came a second club, which he ruffed again.

Now the problem for declarer is that if he plays on trumps the defense can duck the first round. When they win the second trump and play a third club the hearts are blocked.

Declarer has to ruff to get back to hand and runs out of trumps. However, if you unblock the hearts at once before playing the SK, East wins his SA, and leads a diamond to his partner, then gets a heart ruff.

De Boer, who saw the problems coming up, found an ingenious if quixotic solution to his problem. Having gone to all those lengths to finesse in hearts at trick two, he now led the HK from his hand, crashing the queen, then ruffed a heart with dummy's SK! Then he simply drew trumps, having retained control of the hand, and could not be prevented from making ten tricks.