All News

New To The Table. The Play of the Hand.

                                TIME TO SWITCH

Remember we left you on Friday at trick 3. We had been involved in a competitive auction and had doubled the final contract. These are our hand (South) and dummy:

North Deals
N-S Vul
   
A 5 2
3 2
A J 9 7 3
8 7 4
 
N
W   E
S
   
 
10 4 3
9 8
K Q 5
A K Q 9 5
West North East South
Dummy     You
  2  2  3 
3  4  4  Dbl
All pass      

 

We led two top clubs with partner playing Club-small2 then Club-small3 (low encourage)and declarer Club-small10 then Club-smallJ. What next?

We had a choice of continuing clubs which would be safe or switching. Partner’s carding, Club-small2 then Club-small3 told us that they had no interest in that suit. “Interest” is not just a high card. If they only had two clubs, they would show interest because they may be able to ruff the third round or maybe South, you, would be able to cash your three top clubs. Not today! It is really important to encourage or discourage your partner. Indeed, the contract would have made had you continued with Club-smallQ.

Remember we need four tricks to beat the contract..and we have doubled it! It seems that we can only take one diamond at best. Therefore, we had better look elsewhere…and switch to the suit with which partner opened the bidding. If we cannot score at least one heart trick, we will not beat the contract.

So, your Heart-small9 went to your partner’s Heart-small10 and declarer won with their ace. Don’t despair. Your switch guaranteed you would beat the contract.

 

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

 Notice that North played Heart-small10 in case for some reason declarer ducked Heart-small9 and your partner only had one heart...not the case here.

East had two small hearts. They could either get rid of one them by ruffing a heart in dummy or by discarding after ducking a diamond, at which point, the defence can play a second round of hearts to beat the contract by one trick.

Our East played a small heart won by North who did extremely well to switch to play their third club. Declarer could ruff one heart but had to lose a diamond…one down.

How sometimes a loser can disappear.....called a squeeze

(This is not a play we expect you to find...but perhaps interesting to see how it can happen.)

 

Had North played another heart, the contract could have made. Declarer wins the ace and ruffs  a heart in dummy and plays 5 rounds of trumps. These three cards remain in each hand:

 
K Q
6
A J
8
 
N
W   E
S
 
8
10 6
 
K Q
Q

 

East plays Spade-small8. If South throws a diamond, Club-small8 is discarded. If South throws Club-smallQ, thenDiamond-smallJ is discarded from dummy. (East may not remember if Club-small8 is high but they do know that Diamond-smallKQ will not both fall under the ace. So, take a chance..throw Diamond-smallJ.) Either way, declarer makes the last three tricks and their contract.

This is called a “squeeze” leaving South no winning choice…and ought not to have happened but could have done if North had played their trump or a third round of hearts.

Had South switched to the Diamond-smallK at trick 3, declarer would win, force out Diamond-smallQ and discard two hearts on the run of the diamonds, making 10 tricks.

However, we managed to defeat the contract by one trick…+100…a hard earned plus.

On Friday, we said that North should have a good reason to bid 4Heart-small and although they had excellent hearts, they had too many losers in the minor suits. However, although 4Heart-small is beatable, it is slightly tricky. Either East must lead Diamond-small10, eventually scoring a diamond ruff for the fourth defensive trick (+ 3 aces) or lead Spade-smallA, switch to a diamond with North ducking the first round of the suit, preserving an entry to the West hand to get the ruff.

So, maybe North was right after all in bidding 4Heart-small. East could also be accused of bidding “too far” in bidding 4Spade-small. However, being not vulnerable, East could not be sure they could defeat 4Heart-small and bid on to perhaps a cheap sacrifice in 4Spade-small. That was indeed very cheap, gloriously so if the defence slipped up.

So, the answer of who bid too much is "no-one really". An exciting competitive deal which could have allowed both sides to make their game contract.

Richard Solomon

Go Back View All News Items

Our Sponsors
  • NZB Foundation
  • JLT and Chubb Logo square 02.jpg
  • City Council square logo.png
  • Ryman