Dallas to me was an Eighties TV series with huge shoulder pads until I arrived there to play the American Spring Nationals last week. The American Nationals are bigger, better and brighter than anything we Brits can imagine — after the first week they had filled over 7,000 tables — and it is organised so that everyone can play in an event of their choice and standard all day and most of the night.
The main teams event is The Vanderbilt, where 64 teams compete in knockout format, in matches of 64 boards. The final was between the top two seeds, Monaco and Nickell, won by the tiny margin of two IMPs by Nickell. The starring role — more Bobby than JR — went to Bobby Levin, who won both the Platinum Pairs and the Vanderbilt — a massive achievement which must put him in the top ten players in the world.
Check him out here:
West started with the ♥10 to East’s Ace and a Heart back which Bobby ruffed.
Even with the ♣K onside, there is a problem with the long Club, and he didn’t have the entries to dummy to set the Spades up, unless QJx comes down in three rounds.
But this single-dummy way of looking at it is not for World Champions, and Bobby decided to enlist the help of the opponents: he laid down the Ace of Diamonds and played three rounds of Spades, ruffing, and exited with a trump. West cannot give a ruff and sluff, so has to play a Club and, voilà, there’s the missing entry to dummy. The Spades are ruffed good, and dummy re-entered with the last trump to cash the long Spade.