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Thomas Bessis invokes Rabbi's Rule

West
10653
K1087
KJ92
2
North
KQ72
Q4
1073
10987
East
A
A65
A4
AQJ6543
South
J984
J932
Q865
K
W
N
E
S
 
P
1
P
1
P
2
P
3
P
3
P
4
P
6
P
P
P
D
6 East
NS: 0 EW: 0

Many players are thrilled when they, against the odds, drop a singleton king offside. This is known as the Rabbi's Rule, "When the king is singleton offside, play the ace." Yesterday, Thomas Bessis of France did just that in the Alt Invitational IV on BBO, but when he did he played *with* the odds.

In the match between Ventin and Smart Shots, Bessis and Jeff Meckstroth reached the very ambitious club slam. Thomas got a spade lead and realized that he needed some luck to make the contract. At trick 2 he led a low diamond to the jack and when that held it was time to invoke the Rabbi's Rule.

He knew that he would now make with clubs 3-2, but he gave himself an extra chance when he played a club to the ace. If only small cards appeared, he would still make with a 3-2 split and he was deservedly rewarded when South turned up with the stiff king. So only one loser in a contract where many would have failed by taking a finesse. Michael Rosenberg isn't happy when I write "brilliant", so let me just say great play. 920 in the plus column.

At the other table EW stopped in 3NT after a strong club auction that made West declarer. It's not clear how that contract would have fared on a spade lead, but since declarer had shown 4441 (dummy's shape was unknown) North led 10. The Rabbi's Rule into the picture again when Nyström went up with the ace. 12 tricks but a loss of 10 IMPs.

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