In November, players flocked to San Diego —a pleasant site — for the 10-day ACBL Fall Championships. As usual, many experts from outside the U.S. attended. In today’s deal from the Board-a-Match Teams, Italian champion Norberto Bocchi won a board with a good deceptive play.

Dlr: North ♠ Q 7
Vul: All Q 3
A K J 9 8 2
♣ J 3 2
♠ K 10 5 4 3 ♠ J 9
K 10 8 J 9 6 5 4
Q 6 5 10 7
♣ 10 7 ♣ Q 9 6 4
♠ A 8 6 2
A 7 2
4 3
♣ A K 8 5
North East South West
1 Pass 1♠ Pass
2 Pass 3NT All Pass

Opening lead — ♠4

Board-a-Match is a demanding format; overtricks can matter. South played at 3NT, and Bocchi, West, led a spade, won by dummy’s queen. Declarer led a club to his ace and returned a diamond … and Bocchi played the queen!


South had a guess. If the queen was a singleton, he needed to duck in dummy to preserve communication. If South took the ace, king and jack and lost a diamond to East’s 10, he might never reach dummy for the two good diamonds.

South must have been suspicious, but he judged to trust Bocchi’s card: South played low from dummy. He wound up with 10 tricks, plus 630, but in the replay, South took 11 tricks at 3NT against a less testing defense, and Bocchi’s team won the board.

Daily Question

You hold: ♠A 8 6 2   A 7 2 4 3    ♣A K 8 5.
Your partner opens 1♣, you respond 1, he bids 1♠ and you try 2. The dealer, at your right, opens 1. You double, your partner bids 1♠ and the opening bidder rebids 2. What do you say?

If the opening bidder had passed at his second turn, you would pass. Your partner might have little or nothing, and a voluntary raise to 2♠ would show more strength. But in a competitive position, you can stretch a bit when you have a sound double. Bid 2♠.
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