Barnet Shenkin

Scotland On Sunday by Ian Crorie prev/next

Im the five years since he left Scotland to live in the United States, Barnet Shenkin has continued to show why he was one of this country's best ever players. This year, playing in a scratch partnership, he was part of the Pavlicek team that reached the final of the prestigious Vanderbilt teams of four. They lost to the top American team of Nickel (Freeman, Harriman, Soloway, Meckstroth and Rodwell). This hand is from Pavlicek's quarter final victory by a massive 145-74 over the number one seeded Cayne team. Barnet was sitting East and since his teammates at the other table played in a quiet 3NT contract, 22 IMPs rested on whether Bobby Le, n sitting South could make his slam. Barnet's partner, Bob Jones, led a low diamond to the Knave and Ace. Declarer played two more rounds of diamonds, Barnet pitching clubs, and then a club to the King which held the trick. Now South cashed the diamond 10 and turned to the majors, playing three top hearts and the King and Ace of spades. That left just three cards for everyone. Barnet as East was down to J8 of spades and J of hearts and the winning line is for South to throw him in with a heart to force a spade lead into dummy's Q10.

Dlr: South
Vul: E-W
N ♠K Q 10 2
♥10 5 3
♦K Q 2
♣9 8 6
W ♠6 5
♥9 2
♦9 8 6 5 3
♣A J 7 5
 E ♠J 8 7 4
♥J 8 7 6
♣10 4 3 2
 S ♠A 9 3
♥A K Q 4
♦A 10 7 4
♣K Q
--- 2♣
Pass 2♦Pass2NT
Pass 4♣Pass 4♥
Pass6NTAll Pass 

However, Levin thought that East had started with the club Ace so he played for spades 3-3. When West showed out on the third spade he was down and the Pavlicek team had gained 11 IMPs instead of losing the same amount. Barnet's partner did well on two counts. If he'd won the Ace of clubs on the first round of the suit Barnet would have been squeezed in the majors when the last diamond winner was cashed. Just as importantly, he ducked the Ace smoothly when a pause for thought would have given away the actual lie of the cards.