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Ace Remembered

Bobby Goldman (Nov 10, 1938 – May 16, 1999), in his day one of the best players in the world, died twenty years ago today. In all Goldman won four World Championships.

Photo: ACBL.  Eisenberg and Goldman (1974)

Eisenberg and Goldman (photo:ACBL)

These links and video are recommended:

https://bridgefeed.acbl.org/legendary-super-team/

https://www.acbl.org/about-acbl/hall-of-fame/members/  (click G)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3p_NWwAtA8s video here (under 3 minutes)

This deal comes from the prestigious 1990 Sunday Times Invitational Pairs, when Goldman and his long-time partner Paul Soloway faced French pair Christian Mari and Robert Reiplinger.

 

Goldman
6432
986
A1075
J9
Reiplinger
AK8
72
KQ6
Q7653
Soloway
975
KQJ54
J32
K4
Mari
QJ10
A103
984
A1082
W
N
E
S
1
1
2NT
P
3NT
P
P
P
D
3NT South
NS: 0 EW: 0

Contract 3NT by South.  Lead: 6

Hearts were led and continued, declarer Mari winning the third round. To make nine tricks declarer needs either to make five club tricks; or to set up four clubs without letting East in, and find West with A.

Catering for both of these possibilities Mari played a spade to dummy and led Q. On the layout this would normally have worked, because West had the club entry and A.

However, after Soloway covered with K and Mari played his ace, Goldman played his JACK.

Expecting that Soloway held K94, Mari assumed he could make 5 club tricks (without risking playing diamonds). So he played another spade to dummy and took what he thought was the marked finesse, playing a club to his 8. Goldman won with the 9 and cleared the spades. When declarer eventually played a diamond Goldman took his ace and cashed his spade for one down.

3NT was made at every other table where it was played.

A film crew recorded a lot of the bridge. Afterwards, the players were interviewed for TV. A DVD was commercially produced for this event.

In the interview Mari said that Goldman had made one of the most beautiful plays he had ever seen in his life. "Je n'ai pas de regret, it was just a bad moment in the life of a bridge player."

Goldman commented: "… what went through my mind was that if I didn't make this play, he was going to make the hand … and it wasn't something you could think about. Most things in bridge you can stop and think. If I had stopped for just a second to think about it, it would have ruined the play. It had to be spontaneous and natural and that's not really my style, I'm more like a thinker not an instinct player. This time it was just my instinct and I did it. I started to see what was happening, I could tense my hands, my hands started sweating and the cards crumbled up in my hands. Maybe if someone was watching the cards and they started to curl, they would have got a reading as to what was happening."

In a later conversation with Mike Lawrence, another former Dallas Ace, Goldman admitted that he was so excited when his play worked that he almost forgot to play another spade!

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