All News

Daily Bridge in New Zealand

It’s Amazing what You can do.

Yes, you. You have powered your way to slam and get some rather bad news at trick 2. You have two alternatives:

  • Moan about your bad luck (No-one is listening, least of all your opponents) and give up or
  • Get on with the job and see what can be achieved. You never know….

Bridge in NZ.pngnz map.jpg

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

 

The bids kept coming! 4Club-small was a splinter, singleton or void with 4-card trump support. The redouble showed slam interest and club control. 4Spade-small showed a control. 5Club-small was one or four key cards while 5Heart-small denied the Heart-smallQ. Undaunted, South bid the small slam.

West led a club, ruffed in the dummy. When a heart was played at trick 2, East discarded a club. Did the slam make?

So, which was your alternative approach? Give up a heart trick and give up or play on and hope for something good. Just to emphasize. West started with a very healthy looking (for the defence) Heart-small QT84, normally two trump tricks when declarer has AKJ and others.

I am sure you chose the latter line. So, win the Heart-smallA and since you cannot lose a trump trick and cash winners later, you should cash Club-smallA next and then ruff a club. If the world is indeed a pleasant place, the diamond finesse must work. So, play Diamond-smallQ and when that holds, play a second diamond to the ace. You can now ruff your last club with dummy’s last trump, West following suit.

You have taken 7 tricks (and can still afford to lose one!). These cards remain:

 
A K 8 7
J 8
   
N
W   E
S
   
 
2
K J 4 3
9

 

So, the top two spades come next as you discard your diamond loser with West playing Spade-small6 and then Spade-smallJ, still dutifully following suit.

The next is perhaps the only tricky part as West is left with Heart-small QT8 and either a spade or a diamond. If you play the suit in which West is void, they will over-ruff and play their side-suit loser, taking trick 13 with the Heart-smallQ. ..down 1.

However, you have not come this far only to fail at the last hurdle. The adrenaline is pumping. Are you really onto something rather splendid?

So, was that Spade-smallJ a true card or was West fooling with say Spade-small JTx? There may have been a small clue back when you played the diamond suit. Both players followed low, dutifully, twice. Had East held Diamond-smallK1073, they just might have covered the Diamond-smallQ.

So, just maybe, West did have a third diamond, Diamond-small10. So, play a diamond from dummy and ruff low. West has once more to follow suit. You know West’s last three cards now Heart-smallQT8 and you have Heart-smallKJ4. Play Heart-small4 and breathe an almighty sigh of relief as you take the last two tricks with Heart-smallKJ.

goal achieved.jpg

West’s initial joy at the trump situation was very short-lived as they had to follow suit to all 13 tricks, winning just one of them. Maybe both opponents and your partner said "well played". It was. These were the four hands:

South Deals
Both Vul
A K 8 7 4
9 7 5 2
Q J 8 5
J 6
Q 10 8 4
10 6 2
8 7 5 3
 
N
W   E
S
 
Q 10 9 5 3
K 7 3
K Q 9 6 2
 
2
A K J 6 3
A 9 4
A J 10 4

 

So, giving up is really not a great option. There was one tricky decision to make at trick 10 when declarer played a third diamond, not a spade.  Whether or not South really believed they could make the contract when the trump break was exposed was doubtful. They just kept playing and winning tricks until success became a real possibility. It’s a good philosophy to have.

The” Forgotten” Suit

Who worries about clubs? The lowest of the low, outbid by all. Don’t underestimate, sometimes, the power of the club suit.

You are South and hold the following, playing Teams and with just your side vulnerable:

     
   
N
W   E
S
   
 
J 9 8 7 5
A K J 9 7 6
10
3
West North East South
  1  3  ?

 

3Club-small is a weak jump overcall. Nothing sinister, there. What would you bid?

 A day to think about it.

Richard Solomon

Go Back View All News Items

Our Sponsors
  • NZB Foundation
  • City Council square logo.png
  • Ryman