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Long before Zach, there was Alex

I read with much interest the article where young Zach Grossack made the "gotta be at the table" winning play by sneaking through the 8 of spades in a 6C contract. But here is my submission for the best "at the table" play ever. On page 8 of my book "HOw to Play Like An Expert(without having to be one) I talk about Marvin Gaye and one of the most important traits  of an expert player. He has to know "What's Goin' On", On page 8 I recount:

 

"Just about the best "what's goin' on" play I have ever seen was pulled off by my long time friend Alex Pollenz.(He and I now own harness horses together) He was partnered by his brother Mitchell Pollenz(when they were both in their twenties). Alex and Mitch were my teammates in the then-ridiculously-strong Nassau -Suffolk Double KO in 1979. It was the premier Long Island KO event and for many years and drew the likes of Judi Radin, David Berkowitz, Harold Lillie, Peeter Weichsel, Alan Sontag, Jill Levin, Bob Blanchard Drew Casen, Kitty Cooper, Bob Jones, just to name a few. It used to be quite a local.

Anyway, watch Alex(at favorable vulnerability) realize "what's goin' on."

                                   Mitchell

                                   S-AJ74

                                   H-A1062

                                  D-A93

                                   C-A4

 

West                                                           East

S-KQ5                                                         S-109632

H-8                                                             H-J53

D-K862                                                        D-Q10754

C-Q9753                                                     C-void

                                  Alex

                                 S-8

                                 H-KQ974

                                 D-J

                                 C-KJ10862

 

West     Mitchell    East   Alex

  ---         ---         ---     1H

  p           2NT*        p     4NT

  p            5C**       P       7H

  p             p           dble     p

   p            p

*4+ hearts, 13+ points

****0-4 aces

 

Alex knew what was goin' on, but West didn't and naively led the K of Sp. Alex won the spade, drew three rounds of trumps, ending in his hand.

He next led the 8 of C and when Mr. Naive played second hand low, Alex played low from dummy! A first round "Chinese" finesse of the 8 in a doubled grand slam! Wow! Talk about having the courage of your convictions.

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