With two boards to play in the Kasle vs. Assemi semi-final match on July 4th, Kasle led by 17 IMPs. Over 20 IMPs changed hands on those last two boards, but all of them went to the Kasle team, and on both boards, Dan Gerstman was the star for Kasle. Here's board 29, on which the Vugraph commentators at first predicted that Assemi would win 13 IMPs for staying out of a "hopeless" slam, but Dan proved them wrong by making it.
(hands rotated because South is always declarer)
West might have been warned by the bidding that he needed to cash the A to avoid being end-played, but he chose the K as the opening lead. Danny Gerstman then played double-dummy to bring home the slam: he ruffed a at trick 2, crossed to dummy with a trump and ruffed dummy’s last . He cashed a top to extract West’s last trump and exited with a small . West was left with a choice of ways to surrender the 12th trick. The end position was:
On a return, Dan would ruff in dummy, discarding a from hand, cross to the A, pull the last trump and take the last 4 tricks with dummy’s s. On the actual return, he won the Q, pulled the last trump and claimed. This resulted in a well-earned 13-IMP pick-up.
Write-up by Jim "Flash" Gordon