In perhaps the most dramatic finish in Bermuda Bowl history, USA I gained 12 IMPs on the last board of the event to emerge with an amazing 304-303 victory over Italy. The issue was not settled, however, until an appeals committee had rendered a ruling on a disputed ending to the final board. In the closed room, Eric Rodwell and Jeff Meckstroth had gone plus 400 against 4H by Italy’s Norberto Bocchi and Giorgio Duboin. In the open room, Paul Soloway had doubled Lorenzo Lauria in 5D If Lauria could get out for down one – minus 100 – it would be an 11-IMP gain and the match would be tied. As play wound down, Lauria had already lost two tricks and still had the trump ace out against him – plus the losing H9 in his hand. With a singleton spade in his hand, Lauria had played the king from dummy’s holding of SK Q to five. Soloway could have cashed the H10 to guarantee two down, but he played back a spade instead. Lauria’s partner had left the table after putting down the dummy, so Lauria was playing the cards himself. Lauria apparently expected Soloway to cash his winning heart, so he pulled the S7 from dummy – which held only clubs and spades – realizing too late that a spade had been played. He tried to change his play to the queen, which would have allowed him to discard the losing heart and get out for minus 100. Hamman, who had started with the SJ 10 doubleton, had played the jack to the first lead of the suit, and he covered the S7 with the 10. A tournament director was called, and the ruling was that the S7 was a played card, resulting in two down for minus 300. That gave the Americans a 12-IMP gain and a 1-IMP victory. The Italians appealed the ruling, but the appeals committee, citing rule 45B from the law book, backed the director. The rule states that when a card is touched it is played.

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