In a spellbinding finish, the Grand National Teams championship between SPECTOR (District 9 - Florida) and LILIENSTEIN (District 24 - New York) came down to the final board. After 63 boards, LILIENSTEIN had a 4-IMP lead. But the final board featured an opening lead problem against a grand slam:
With the championship on the line, what would you lead?
West led a trump, and this was the hand (rotated to make South declarer):
Despite being off the ♣A, on the trump lead, the SPECTOR declarer was able to draw trumps and run spades to pitch his clubs from dummy for a club ruff. 7 hearts, 5 spades, and a club ruff was worth +1510. At the other table, the LILIENSTEIN N/S stopped in 6♥ for +980, so SPECTOR needed to bid the grand slam to have any shot at winning. SPECTOR's 11-IMP pickup on the final board allowed them to repeat as GNT Champions for the second year in a row and 4th title since 2007 (with slight changes to the roster). Congratulations to Warren Spector, Mike Becker, Gary Cohler, David Berkowitz, Jeff Meckstroth, and Eric Rodwell.
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