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GNT championship decided on final board
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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:

West
98
104
AJ54
AQJ103
W
N
E
S
P
1
2
3
4
4
P
4
X
XX
P
5
P
5
P
5
P
5
P
5NT
P
7
P
P
P

With the championship on the line, what would you lead?

West led a trump, and this was the hand (rotated to make South declarer):

Hurd
98
104
AJ54
AQJ103
Berkowitz
K65
KJ9
KQ973
K2
Wooldridge
Q104
3
10862
98654
Cohler
AJ732
AQ87652
7
W
N
E
S
 
P
1
2
3
4
4
P
4
X
XX
P
5
P
5
P
5
P
5
P
5N
P
7
P
P
P
D
7 South
NS: 0 EW: 0

Despite being off the A, on the trump lead, the SPECTORdeclarer 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 LILIENSTEINN/S stopped in 6 for +980, so SPECTORneeded 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 4thtitle 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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