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Play, Defence even Bid for Newer Players

ALWAYS REMEMBER YOUR CONTRACT

You bid to what looks like an excellent slam. You thank your partner for their dummy…and really mean it! It is a truly excellent dummy. All you have to do is to make your contract. Yet, alas, you had to record -100 a few seconds later. What a pity.

tears.jpg

Let’s look.

South Deals
Both Vul
A K 8 5
A Q 10 8
A 7 4
K 6
   
N
W   E
S
   
 
Q J 10 9 2
Q J 9 3
A Q 4 2
West North East South
  dummy   you
      1 
Pass 4 NT Pass 5 
Pass 5 NT Pass 6 
Pass 6  All pass  

 

After your opening bid, your partner decided to ask for aces. 5Diamond-small showed one while your response to the 5NT king ask was “0”. So, with Diamond-smallK and Heart-smallK missing, your partner decided wisely to stop in 6Spade-small.

West led Diamond-small5. Rather lazily, you played low from dummy, perhaps hoping that West had led away from the king. Alas, that was not the case as these were the four hands.

 

South Deals
Both Vul
A K 8 5
A Q 10 8
A 7 4
K 6
7 4 3
J 6 5
5
J 10 9 7 5 3
 
N
W   E
S
 
6
K 9 7 4 3 2
K 10 8 6 2
8
 
Q J 10 9 2
Q J 9 3
A Q 4 2
West North East South
  dummy   you
      1 
Pass 4 NT Pass 5 
Pass 5 NT Pass 6 
Pass 6  All pass  

 

East won the Diamond-smallK and returned a diamond for their partner to ruff. Down one. Ouch! Was that bad luck?

The answer must, alas, be “no”.  

It seems South played too quickly at trick one. One look at the dummy would indicate that there were no losers in any suit except possibly diamonds. The only cards that may not be tricks in the South hand (apart from losing to the Diamond-smallK) were the Club-small4 and possibly Diamond-small9..but one of those could be ruffed in dummy and the other discarded on the Heart-smallA.

Basically, South had to rise with the Diamond-smallA, draw trumps in three rounds and lead dummy’s Diamond-small7. Very soon they would have 12 tricks whether or not North went up with the Diamond-smallK.

When a card like the 8 or 9 is led, players tend to recognise the danger of that card being a singleton. However, there is just as much danger when what might seem an innocent 4 or 5 is led. Safety first!

Never endanger your contract for an overtrick. That is exactly what South did on this deal…and then paid the price. What a sad ending to what should have been a very pleasant result.  

Richard Solomon

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