Dutch Team Wins Schiphol Toine van Hoof, The Netherlands

The 9th International Schiphol tournament was won by the Dutch open team, Leufkens-Westra, Maas-Kirchhoff and De Boer-Muuler, who have replaced Jansen-Westerhof. For two long day the raced head-to-head against the Israelis, Levit-Cohen and Podgur-Kalish. In the match between these teams, the following hand was most interesting.

Game All. Dealer East.

                        S AQJ3
                        H AQT82
                        D J8
                        C 72
             S K7654             S T82
             H 543               H KJ76
             D Q54               D KT32
             C J9                C A5
                        S 9
                        H 9
                        D A976
                        C KQT8643

After a 1D opening bid by East, North-South reached the ambitious contract of 5C. West led a small diamond to the 10, which declarer allowed to hold. To prevent a diamond ruff in dummy, Danny Cohen continued with the Ace of clubs and a club. The declarer, Wubbo de Boer, counted only nine tricks: six in clubs and three Aces. An option was to play East for the SK and West for the HK. Ruffing out SK first and then finessing in hearts provides for two diamond discards. At the other table declarer followed this line in 4C and ended up with ten tricks. De Boer had another idea about the hand. He reasoned that there were excellent squeeze chances if West held the SK. He started off by playing a few more rounds of clubs. West was Shaya Levit, who won the bronze medal with the Israeli team in the 1976 World Championship. His first two discards were S4 and S5. Later on he explained that he wanted to suggest he didn't have SK. De Boer, however, stuck to his original plan. He
played a spade to the Queen, cashed SA and ruffed a spade. This brought down the King, so declarer had his eleven tricks in the bag.  Further analysis shows that, after the diamond lead, the contract can always be made. De Boer was on the right track with his plan to set up a squeeze. After a diamond to the ten, CA and a club, four more rounds of clubs produce this ending with South to lead:

                        S AQJ
                        H AQT
                        D J
                        C -
              S K765            S T2
              H 5               H KJ7
              D Q5              D K3
              C -               C -
                        S 9
                        H 9
                        D A97
                        C 64

South now plays a heart to the Ace and ruffs a heart.  West can afford to throw a spade, but on the last club he has to bare his DQ. In dummy the SJ has done his work and East throws a spade. A spade to the Queen and the SA squeezes East in hearts and diamonds.