Sunday, 20 November 2011

Many top players have questioned whether Johnny has what it takes to join their ranks. Well, after this exquisite demonstration of card skill the boot is now firmly on the other foot : have they got what it takes to stand alongside him.
Here was a hand where many of these top players lost the plot , but it only took Johnny 10 seconds to find the answer.
Opening 4H, Johnny's 8 point hand was : Jxx....AQJ10987........xx.....x
Partner's dummy hand was a rather useful : AQx...Kx..........Jxx.....xxxxx
On a diamond opening lead, Johnny could see three immediate losers and an near certain spade loser no matter who held the king. Even if the King was onside with the queen finesse holding, there was no way of making two more spades unless the LHO held Kx.
However, at the table Johnny claimed at trick 3, when he announced that if his LHO opponent held 4 clubs and the King of spades the contract was there ON A SQUEEZE.
Opponents' best defence was to take the first two diamonds and force declarer to ruff the third round in hand. Trick 4 involved conceding a club, with defender's best defence to play back a heart. Letting it run dummy's king , to set up the first club ruff. Back to dummy with the diamond finesse of the queen, for a second club ruff.
Now comes two rounds of hearts pulling opponents trumps.
Johnny with 3 cards play has 1H, and Jx of spades. Dummy is down to Ax of spades AND OF COURSE THAT PRECIOUS 4th CLUB. Not surprisingly, the distraught LHO is frantically looking for a white flag, holding Kx of spades and the master club. At trick 11 when the last heart is played......the contract was there for the taking.
What a man. What a player. What a genius.

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