Both vulnerable. East deals.

Both vulnerable. East deals.
x -10 9 6 5
u -K 2
v -A K Q 5 3
w -9 7
x -A 8 4 3 x -K Q 2
u -10 8 u -A J 7 5
v -J 6 4 2 v -10 8 7
w -J 6 3 w -8 5 4
x -J 7
u -Q 9 6 4 3
v -9
w -A K Q 10 2
The bidding:
Pass 1u Pass 2v
Pass 3w Pass 3x
Pass 3NT Pass Pass
Opening lead: Three of x
Bridge is more and more becoming a multinational game. Last year, Europe opened its annual championship to players from other countries, and at the recent Spring North American Bridge Championships players from some 20 countries competed.
In the late 1950s and '60s, the legendary Italian Blue Team dominated; it was virtually unbeatable. Italian bridge went into a decline with the retirement of their stars, but a new crop of players has arisen and Italy is again the major force in Europe. Watch world champion Alfredo Versace defend a deal on this hand from the Silidor Open Pairs. Cover the West and South hand to appreciate his skill.
Versace's partner, George Jacobs of Chicago, led the three of spades. You win with the queen and cash the king, declarer dropping the jack on the second round. What do you do now?
Versace unhesitatingly shifted to a diamond. Since he held the ace of hearts over the king, this play effectively killed dummy. Declarer had to take his diamond tricks immediately. But once declarer cashed the high diamonds, he established the setting trick for the defense. There was now no way for the contract to be made.
Note that, without a diamond shift, declarer will have no problem setting up a ninth trick in hearts before taking his diamond tricks. He gets home before the defense can take their fifth trick.
& copy; 2005 Tribune Media Services
Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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