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Tales of Akarana

Just in case!

No play this week…or for the next few but that does not stop being able to report a recent hand which occurred. If you take a look at the following deal and bid all the way to 6Diamond-small, you would be feeling quite happy.

 

Board 8
West Deals
None Vul
A 10 5 3
A K 5 4 3
K Q
K 2
   
N
W   E
S
   
 
K Q 9
8
A 10 8 6 4 2
Q J 10

 

West led the Club-smallA and at trick 2 switched to a heart. In a horror movie, East would ruff the first round of hearts and your nice contract would fail. However, this is Akarana and not a horror movie…and so East followed suit. How are you feeling?

What can go wrong? How about planning the play?

There is not much you can do if West has four diamonds headed by the jack or indeed all 5 missing trumps. However, say it was East.

Dong Huang demonstrated how the slam could still be made:

Board 8
West Deals
None Vul
A 10 5 3
A K 5 4 3
K Q
K 2
8 4 2
Q J 10 6 2
3
A 7 5 3
 
N
W   E
S
 
J 7 6
9 7
J 9 7 5
9 8 6 4
 
K Q 9
8
A 10 8 6 4 2
Q J 10

 

He ruffed a heart at trick 3 and only then played a trump to the queen (no 5-0 break!). He went about shortening his own trump suit to the same length he imagined East might hold.

He cashed Diamond-smallK to confirm the 4-1 break, played Club-smallK and then ruffed a second heart. Next came Club-smallQ and  Spade-smallK and a spade to the ace.

These 3 cards remained:

 
10
A 5
8
J
7
 
N
W   E
S
 
J 9
9
 
Q
A 10

 

Dong was in dummy and only now played Heart-smallA. East was helpless. The key to the successful slam was in ruffing a heart early and then ruffing a second heart while having enough entries to finish back in dummy. Nicely played.

No other pair tried 6Diamond-small. Those in 6NT failed because of the bad break while those in game found no difficulty in making their contract. Dong reaped the reward of careful play.

When there is once again bridge at Akarana, there will be more “Tales”. We hope the gap will not be too long.

Richard Solomon

 

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