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TALES OF AKARANA

Chances Both Ways

That’s what makes a good bridge hand. Both sides have the opportunity of a good score…and in the case of Board 7, there were a few “if onlys” afterwards.

We will look at from the point of view of some of the declarers.

 

Board 7
South Deals
Both Vul
A 9 8 5 3
K 6
A K 9 8 7 5
   
N
W   E
S
   
 
K 7 6 3
Q J 10 7 4 2
Q J 10
West North East South
      2 
Pass 2  Dbl 4 
Pass 6  All pass  

 

2Diamond-smallwas a weak 2 in either major (no comments please about what that means since South was 4-6 in the majors and did not have to decide which major they held!). East’s double indicated spades, a fact which became even clearer when South jumped to 4Heart-small. The 6Heart-small jump seemed a pretty good shot and gave South a playable contract, especially on the Spade-smallJ lead from West. What’s your line?

This contract is now cold if hearts break evenly and even if they do not with anything but a 6-1 club or 7 – 0 club break. Of the 4 declarers in 6Heart-small, three were given the chance to make this contract but none did.

Board 7
South Deals
Both Vul
A 9 8 5 3
K 6
A K 9 8 7 5
J 10 5 4
9 8 4 3
Q J 10 6 2
 
N
W   E
S
 
A Q 9 8 2
K 6
A 7 5 2
4 3
 
K 7 6 3
Q J 10 7 4 2
Q J 10
West North East South
      2 
Pass 2  Dbl 4 
Pass 6  All pass  

 

At one table, the declarer laid down the Heart-smallA at trick 2 and on getting the bad news, set to work on clubs by cashing the two top ones. He then ruffed a third one (if East ruffs high, the last diamond can be discarded from the South hand) and ruffed a second spade in dummy, ruffed another club and another spade and then had a “minties moment” thinking the fifth club in dummy was high. What a shame as making would have been huge on datum.

At another table, South, who also received the Spade-smallJ lead, must have decided to take the trump finesse as he ruffed a club at trick 2 to lead a heart. West’s discard scuppered that plan…but the contract was now doomed. Declarer won with the Heart-smallA and tried 2 top clubs discarding diamonds. However, on the Club-smallK, East was able to ruff with the Heart-smallK and cash the Diamond-smallA for one down.

One pair wrong-sided 6Heart-small by having East on lead. Two aces and the trump king were too much for East. The double card was used. Wisely, East led the ace of their shorter suit and could then relax when the trump ace did not appear in dummy. Of the three opening leads available to West, the successful diamond lead seems the least attractive.

At one table, the stakes were even higher as South was in 7Heart-smallx. The declarer escaped the deadly diamond lead but even so, there was no hope at this level.

The rest stayed in the comfort of the game level and missed all the excitement. Five defenders were given the opportunity of beating the slam at trick one. Only one succeeded. Yet, eventually, all the declarers failed in their contract, one unavoidably. A hand of chances and opportunities for all.

Richard Solomon

 

 

 

 

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