If anyone is going to cause me agonies at the bridge table in front of 800 kibitzers by subjecting me to a rare trump squeeze, I’d rather it was a superstar of the game. Alfredo Versace, linchpin of the Italian team for 20 years, is a multiple European and world champion. Last Thursday, my partner Peter Taylor and I found ourselves battling against him in the semi-finals of an international mixed teams tournament. Our teammates — Catherine Draper and Andrew Woodcock, David Gold and Catherine Seale — had played superbly all week, and we didn’t want to let them down. Then came this hand:
West’s 2NT was Jacoby; the rest were cue-bids. Sitting South, I led a heart, partner’s suit. Versace (East) ruffed in hand, then played trumps. This was the seven-card ending: West ♠6♥A◆986♣A10; East ◆A54♣K865; South ◆KJ7♣QJ32.
On the play of the ♥A he discarded a diamond. I thought for ages, anxiously trying to work out his hand, before eventually parting with a club. Little did I realise that I was caught in an inescapable squeeze. Versace cashed ♣AK, ruffed a club, and his 4th club was his 12th trick. Had I discarded a diamond, he would have played the ◆A and a low diamond, and dummy’s ◆9 would have been his 12th trick. Simply outstanding. Congratulations to Versace and his team for going on to win the final.
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