Mark Horton

The Trick Machine

The successful matchpoint player needs to display a myriad of skills, but one of the most important is to rack up the tricks in routine contracts.

On this deal from the final of the Silodor Open Pairs Barry Rigal showed how it should be done:

Dealer: South

Vul: East/West

K 10 6 3
10 5 3 2
9 5 4
West East
A 7 4 Q J 5 2
8 7 5 3 2 Q 6 4
K 9 7 6 Q 8
8 A 6 3 2
9 8
A 10 9
A J 4
K Q J 10 7
West North: Ornstein

East South: Rigal

All Pass

1NT was the popular spot, with West, as here, leading a heart for the jack, queen and ace.

Resisting the temptation to play clubs immediately Barry played a spade to dummy’s king. When that held he attacked clubs, and when East won he retuned a heart, West having discarded a diamond on the second round.

Now Barry played a diamond to the jack and West won and cleared the heart suit. After winning and cashing his club tricks, Barry cashed the ace of diamonds and found that suit was now good.

He had taken one spade, three hearts, three diamond and four clubs for a whopping +210.

(Only three pairs could beat that, one of them your reporters’, who, having donned a pair of rose tinted spectacles, used Stayman, which eventually saw the Rabbi at the helm in the unbeatable 3NT.)

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