One of the marks of a champion is an acutely developed “table feel.” On this deal from the Bermuda Bowl in Taipei in 1971, Bobby Wolff showed how tuned in he was to what was going on. Wolff was playing with Jim Jacoby against Frenchmen Henri Svarc and Jean-Michel Boulenger in the round-robin phase of the event.
Svarc started with the ♣5 to Boulenger’s ace. A spade was returned to Svarc’s ace. Seemingly without a care, Svarc cashed the ♣K before exiting with a spade to Wolff’s queen.
Before making his next play, Wolff studied the situation and concluded that Svarc was acting very much like a man who expected to win a trump trick.
Backing his judgment, Wolff played the ♥;J from hand. Svarc covered and Wolff won the king in dummy. Wolff returned to hand with the♦A and played the ♥7, running it when Svarc played low. Wolff was now able to play a heart to the 10, ruff a diamond back to his hand and pick up the trump 9 with the ace. At that point, dummy was good.
It was a very well-earned 10 IMPs for Wolff’s team — the fabled Aces — because at the other table, the French South went down in the same contract after West led a club to the ace, won the club return with the king, cashed the ♠A and got out with a spade. The French declarer
played a heart to the king, conceding down one when East showed out on the second round of the suit.
The full deal: