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Daily Bridge in New Zealand

It’s Good News Week.

Well, it must be. Most of our bridge clubs are back in operation while there are several tournaments taking place this coming week-end like:

“Spa Town” Teams                         Saturday at the Hamilton Bridge Club (32 teams)

Howick Open Pairs                        Saturday                   26 pairs

Howick Intermediate Pairs             Saturday                   14 pairs

Wellington Regional Teams          Saturday                   18 teams

Richmond Open Pairs                  Saturday                   40 pairs

Rangiora All Grades Pairs           Sunday                      50 pairs (full)

That’s 50 teams and 130 pairs in 6 events, a total of 460 players nationwide.

More Good News

That is in our deal of the day. We reached a somewhat dubious 4Heart-small contract thanks to a touch of overbidding (so, what’s new!) and we do want to make it, don’t we? Make it happen!

Bridge in NZ.pngnz map.jpg

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

 

You bid 1Heart-small hoping to bail out in perhaps 1NT or 2NT, a better spot than say a 3-3 club fit. “Bailing out” occurred at the game level! West led Club-small7 and you won in hand (East playing  Club-smallJ) to run Heart-small7 to East’s ace. Back came Spade-small7 and you play Spade-small8 to West’s ace. Plan the play. West will exit Club-small4.

Well, the good news day started when we won the opening lead and lost trick 2 to the Heart-smallA. That Heart-smallJ is where we need it. However, what we do not have is many entries to the South hand, mainly because we only have a five count! We need a further one to take another finesse of the Heart-smallJ (Hearts had better be 3-2 or else it is all getting too hard!)…and then we need two more to take diamond finesses, as the Diamond-smallK must be with West. This is, after all, a “good news day”.

We do not have three more entries or maybe not have but we can create a possible extra trick for our side by playing the Spade-smallQ under the ace. It looks like West does not hold Spade-smallJ as if they did, they would surely have played it rather than the ace. Looking at Heart-smallKJ and Diamond-smallK, they would know you would want to be in the South hand as often as possible.

The unblock of the Spade-smallQ might be critical because although West’s club return offered you what seemed like a working finesse of Club-small10, many defenders have been known to false-card when playing Club-smallJ on the first round of the suit. Therefore, if there is an alternative to the club finesse, then take it. This was the full lay-out:

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

 

So, the club finesse would have worked but so did the alternative line of winning Club-smallA and taking a finesse of Spade-smallJ. Now, all that was required was a heart towards the queen. West can take their ace but cannot harm South. They can exit Heart-smallJ with a club ruff providing the last entry needed to the South hand to discard Diamond-smallJ on the Spade-smallK and take the one successful diamond finesse required to make 10 tricks.

A touch of good fortune? Certainly. Three successful finesses and a 3-2 trump break. You still had to take advantage of this good fortune, especially by playing Spade-smallQ under the ace. If you do not, you could strike trouble when West exits a spade. So, the unblock was indeed important.

Next time, all the finesses will fail and you will finish three down and wish you had passed 1Diamond-small! “Good news day” does not happen every day but take advantage of it when it does.

good luck.gif

Let’s hope your finesses work too if you are one of the 460 playing in a tournament this Saturday.

Defending is not for the faint-hearted. Try this. You are East.

South Deals
E-W Vul
3
J 5 4
Q 9 6 4 2
J 7 6 2
   
N
W   E
S
 
K 10 5 4
8
10 8 7 5
K Q 10 3
West North East South
  dummy you  
      2 
Pass 2  Pass 2 
Pass 3  Pass 6 
All pass      

 

After a negative response to a game-forcing 2Club-small, North comes to life with a splinter bid (at least three hearts and 0/1 spade) in support of hearts. South jumps directly to slam.

West leads Spade-small9 to your king and declarer’s ace. Declarer ruffs a spade at trick 2 playing Spade-smallJ from hand and partner Spade-smallQ and then plays three rounds of trumps, being a little disappointed when you discard Club-small3 (encouraging) on the second round. West wins the Heart-smallQ on the third round and exits a third round of spades, ruffed by declarer.

South leads out their remaining two trumps. They discard a diamond and three small clubs from dummy on four rounds of hearts leaving on dummy:

                        Diamond-small Q964   and Club-smallJ

West throws two spades on the two hearts. Spade-small8 has not appeared.

Which 5 cards do you keep?

See you on Friday.

Richard Solomon

 

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