All News

Tales of Akarana

SHAPELESS and SHAPELY.

Sometimes it is what is staring before our eyes. At other times, we have to imagine what it is our opponents might be bidding so aggressively on.

In the context of the above, two problems for you:

 

     
Board 12
West Deals
N-S Vul
 
N
W   E
S
   
 
A 10 7 3
J 9 4 2
A J 9
A 9
West North East South
Pass 1  Pass 1 
Pass 2 NT Pass 3 
Pass 3 NT Pass ?

 

2NT is 18-19 and your 3Spade-small showed 4-4 in the majors. Where to from here?

Problem 2

You reach 4Spade-small as West after the following sequence:

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

 

North leads Heart-small10 to South’s ace. South switches to Club-small6 TO North’s Club-smallQ. North plays Club-smallA on which South plays Club-small4. North now plays Club-small9. Plan the play.

 Problem 1

So how good is your 14 count opposite partner’s 18-19? You have a few 9’s and 10’s but no great shape. Do you make the decision or let partner decide by raising to 4NT? His lack of aces might put him off but you know that. Only Candice Doyle made the decision for partner and passed 3NT. She really was right even though 6NT was makeable:

Board 12
West Deals
N-S Vul
Q 8 5
A K
K 8 3
K Q J 7 6
   
N
W   E
S
   
 
A 10 7 3
J 9 4 2
A J 9
A 9
West North East South
Pass 1  Pass 1 
Pass 2 NT Pass 3 
Pass 3 NT Pass 4 NT
Pass 6  Pass 6 NT
All pass      

 

Plan the play as North on the lead of the Diamond-small6.

Back though to our other problem where you just have to believe the opponents are bidding on good shape as they bid up to 4Heart-small on their combined 14hcp. You had to believe that South had a doubleton club too. (Trusting the opponents: sometimes you must.)

So, the winning line was to ruff with Spade-smallQ and take a first-round trump finesse by playing a spade to the 10. Scary but necessary to make 4Spade-small. The opponents could make 4Heart-small maybe even 5Heart-small!

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

 Shapely.

 

What then if you made it to 6NT? You will need three spade tricks because West holds Diamond-smallQT42. Do you play West for Spade-smallKxx or East for two out of three missing high spade cards (KJ9) and a 3-3 or favourable 4-2 break? It sounds that the former is more likely but, as several declarers found out to their cost, it was not the winning play on the night.

Board 12
West Deals
N-S Vul
Q 8 5
A K
K 8 3
K Q J 7 6
J 6 2
10 5 3
Q 10 4 2
5 4 3
 
N
W   E
S
 
K 9 4
Q 8 7 6
7 6 5
10 8 2
 
A 10 7 3
J 9 4 2
A J 9
A 9
West North East South
Pass 1  Pass 1 
Pass 2 NT Pass 3 
Pass 3 NT Pass 4 NT
Pass 6  Pass 6 NT
All pass      

 

Two tables stayed out of slam. Three more made 12 tricks in slam. The rest of the North-Souths went minus. Candice’s judgment proved correct. The fact that her partner made 4 overtricks (yes, 4!) is irrelevant. 6NT was no great contract and best to be avoided.

Shapeless.

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