22 APRIL 2000, Page 47


Hands off

Andrew Robson

THE RECENT Transnational Teams, held in January alongside the Bermuda Bowl, attracted many of the world's greatest stars. The biggest criticism of the event was that the hands (except in matches between the lead- ers) were dealt by hand at the table, rather than by the computer.

Human deals tend to be much duller due to imperfect shuffling — than the truer computer deals. For example, the odds of a 3- 3 split (36%) are accurate only on computer deals; unless cards are shuffled infinitely the odds of a 3-3 split on human deals are proba- bly over 40%. If local duplicate clubs can organise computer deals then world events should be able to manage it. End of gripe.

Here is a hand (computer dealt) from the final of the event — contested by two US teams. Meltzer's team made 44 whereas Mil- ner's team failed, and Meltzer went on to win.

Dealer South 47 ♦ Q J 9 7 • K J 9 5 • 10 9 7 5 4 V • • North-South K 5 A 5 7 6 4 2 A J 8 6 Vulnerable 4 4A1083 V 10 8 6 3 • A 10 8 4 3 2




4 Q J 9 6 4 2 ✓ K42 • Q 3 • K Q The Bidding South West North East 14 pass 24 pass 24 pass 44 pass pass pass West led VQ at both tables. The declarer for Milner won YK and led 42 to 4K. East won 4A, cashed •A., led •10 to 4PQ and West's •K, and declarer trumped West's •J continuation. He cashed 4Q and watched West discard V7. In desperate trouble now, he cashed 4K, overtook 4Q with 4A, and led 4J. If the 4s had split, he would have been able to discard V2 on 4J, trump 48, cross to VA and lead the +6 to trump-coup East. But East trumped the third 4 and declarer had to lose a V trick. One down.

The declarer for Meltzer won WO opening lead with VK, cashed +KQ, crossed to VA, then led 4A. East trumped with 43, declar- er overtrumped with 44, trumped V4 with dummy's 45, then led 4J. East trumped with 48, declarer overtrumped with 49, and led 42 to 4K and 4A. The defence cashed two • tricks but that was it. Ten tricks.