And today’s Martin Rehder award goes to...

Two years ago, during the Bermuda Bowl qualifiers, I introduced the “Martin Rehder award for play of the day”. You don’t ever want to win this, as it is awarded to the player who made the most disasterous play of the day.

Yesterday, I got up early to watch some of action from the world championships currently held in Wuhan (China). Time zone differences make that the first match starts at 5am. I had not had time to make myself a coffee, when I saw this one. 1showed 16+, any distribution, all other bids natural. Your lead?

And what do you lead if you want to make it into the daily bulletin?

While you are figureing this out, here is the same deal played at another table. Now, note that I said to my students that they should log on to BBO, as they could no doubt learn something from this. After this hand I’m not so sure. Anyway, you are west holding the hand above and hear this auction. 3showed either clubs or both minors, 5was explained as natural and a decent hand, 5asked for aces and 6showed 2 plus theQ. Or something like that, after 7you know that something has gone wrong and decide to start doubling. After all, you don’t want to win the Draper award.

Against 7NT, you have a fairly obvious lead of the A and a few seconds later, you score up 1400, when the full hand turned out to be.

It isn’t clear from the North-South CC where things got mixed up, but it looks as if north thought that 5 was to play, while his partner tought it was a slamgoing hand. To my students: no matter how you screw up, the experts in Wuhan can beat you in that department as well.

Back to the opening lead against 6. It looks as if the opponents have gone overboard, so a quietA will do the trick. Even in the unlikely case that it is ruffed, you will always get a second chance when in with theA. The daily bulletin goes as far as saying that cat next door will lead a spade, for down 2.

No, west found a different lead: the3. Just look at the disasterous outcome of that one:3 to theQ andK. Declarer now played diamonds, pitching his major suit losers, and soon claiming 12 tricks. I’m not going to name names here, but west is a frequent contributor to, I wonder when the hand will show up in one of his articles. To be fair, his articles are usually well worth reading. In the meantime, he gets the Martin Rehder play of the day award.

Henk Uijterwaal 2019