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PLAY and DEFENCE for Improving Players

"ROUGHLY" DOWN

Maybe the first word has been misspelt but the second word is clear evidence of what happened as another contract which should have been made bit the dust. A test for you. You made a very respectable overcall and much to your surprise, you have been doubled. There are two questions for you. Here then is the first:

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

 

Question 1

West led the Spade-small6 to East’s ace. East played Heart-small3 which you duck to West’s king. West returns Heart-small6. Where do you win trick 3 and which card do you play to trick 4? Even though there are two questions, this is just the first question! In case you are wondering, I do have an Irish connection! irishness.png

East reopened the bidding and although they cannot have that strong a hand, it looks like East will have both missing diamond honours to give them an 11 count while West will have that Heart-smallK and  Club-small ATxx… hopefully only four clubs.  Well, that’s what it seems in which case you need to avoid two diamond losers as you will lose one trick in each major and two clubs. However, you can check on the club suit by leading from dummy, just in case all is not what it seems.

Question 2.

So win the Heart-smallQ in dummy and play a trump. To your surprise, East’s ace wins the trick. Note that to avoid two trump losers, you had to lead the first round of trumps from dummy. East’s next play is Spade-smallQ…and what do you play now

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

 

At the table, declarer ruffed low with West over-ruffing. West exited with the Heart-smallJ and declarer was left to play diamonds and could not avoid two diamond losers..down one.

South should have thrown a diamond on the Spade-smallQ and when East continued with another spade have thrown their other little diamond…a version of throwing a “loser on loser”. West would have to ruff this next round of spades…and declarer could then claim for the loss of two tricks in each black suit and the Heart-smallK... no diamond losers.

Ruff either spade and you are down. “Loser on loser” to the rescue.

Richard Solomon

 

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