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Captain courageous

July 03, 1961
July 03, 1961

Table of Contents
July 3, 1961

Record Dash
Spanish Soccer
Gung-Ho Marine
Tennis
Acknowledgments
Baseball's Week
19th Hole: The Readers Take Over
Pat On The Back

Captain courageous

The Los Angeles bridge team, winner over New York in the first two SPORTS ILLUSTRATED Intercity matches, has since been challenged by several other cities. Now Houston's bid has been accepted, and the match will be held late in November, just before the Fall Nationals, also in Houston.

This is an article from the July 3, 1961 issue Original Layout

Big as Texas is, though, it cannot dispute Los Angeles' claim to having the largest tournaments. Partly because bridge is a round-the-clock, swing-shift affair in southern California, L.A. almost always produces record-breaking entries. During its recent Bridge Week, Los Angeles set a new regional record, with 7,631 tables.

The Open Pair Championship in Bridge Week was won by the nonplaying captain of L.A.'s Intercity team, Kelsey Petterson, partnered with Erik Paulsen. In this deal Petterson proved that captains know how to manage their play as well as their teams.

Paulsen was too weak to keep the bidding open with the West hand, and his opponents-Eddie Kantar and Harold Guiver, two of the younger stars on L.A.'s Intercity team—bid smoothly to the logical contract of three no trump. The game would have been made except for Petterson's farsighted play to the first trick and the ready cooperation of Paulsen at the second.

"Third hand high" is the general rule for defensive play, but in this case Petterson immediately recognized the need for a different tactic. If he played the queen of spades on the first trick, South would duck. Then, though East continued spades, after declarer won the second lead West would be bailed out of the suit and even though he were able to gain the lead he could not continue spades. This would give declarer time to establish a club trick which, with five diamonds, two spades and one heart, would be enough to bring home the game.

But Petterson, simply but decisively, fixed the timing in favor of the defense by playing the 10 on the first spade lead. Now, instead of being able to wait for the second round of the suit declarer was forced to take the first round—if he ducked and let the 10 win, he would end up with only one trick (and only one stopper) in the spade suit.

Kantar did his best to steal a club trick by immediately leading toward dummy's jack, but Paulsen jumped in with the king and was then able to lead his second spade, which Petterson's ducking play had so carefully preserved.

This time, of course, East put up the spade queen, establishing the rest of his suit while he still had the club ace as a re-entry and control, and no matter how declarer maneuvered, he could not bring home his contract.

Had Petterson played high on the first spade lead and continued the suit when declarer ducked, it would have done no good for West to protect his partner's re-entry by jumping in with the king on the first club lead. West would not have another spade to return, and declarer would easily set up a club while staving off attack from every other quarter.

EXTRA TRICK
The exact time when you win a trick can often be more important than your ability to win it. Don't be afraid to let the opponents take a cheap trick if by so doing you keep open the lines of communication with partner.

ILLUSTRATION

Neither side vulnerable East dealer

NORTH

[7 of Spades]
[6 of Spades]
[5 of Spades]
[Ace of Hearts]
[10 of Hearts]
[9 of Hearts]
[8 of Hearts]
[6 of Hearts]
[Jack of Clubs]
[3 of Clubs]
[Ace of Diamonds]
[King of Diamonds]
[4 of Diamonds]

WEST

[4 of Spades]
[2 of Spades]
[5 of Hearts]
[4 of Hearts]
[3 of Hearts]
[2 of Hearts]
[King of Clubs]
[9 of Clubs]
[8 of Clubs]
[7 of Clubs]
[4 of Clubs]
[7 of Diamonds]
[6 of Diamonds]

SOUTH

[Ace of Spades]
[Jack of Spades]
[9 of Spades]
[Jack of Hearts]
[Queen of Clubs]
[10 of Clubs]
[6 of Clubs]
[2 of Clubs]
[Queen of Diamonds]
[Jack of Diamonds]
[10 of Diamonds]
[8 of Diamonds]
[5 of Diamonds]

EAST

[King of Spades]
[Queen of Spades]
[10 of Spades]
[8 of Spades]
[3 of Spades]
[King of Hearts]
[Queen of Hearts]
[7 of Hearts]
[Ace of Clubs]
[5 of Clubs]
[9 of Diamonds]
[3 of Diamonds]
[2 of Diamonds]

EAST
(Pellerson)

1 [Spade]
PASS
PASS

SOUTH
(E. Kantar)

PASS
2 N.T.
PASS

WEST
(Paulsen)

PASS
PASS
PASS

NORTH
(H. Guiver)

2 [Heart]
3 N.T.

Opening lead: 4 of spades