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Daily Bridge in New Zealand

Winners and Losers

Today’s deal is about winners, about keeping them and not discarding them, about saluting them, the team above who won the National Open Teams in Auckland last weekend in some style and who got our deal today just right.

 

Bridge in NZ.png nz map.jpg

East Deals
None Vul
   
K Q
9 8 7 3
9
A J 10 8 6 2
 
N
W   E
S
 
A 5 4
K J 10 5
K Q 8 7 2
3
West North East South
    1  2 
Dbl Pass 4  All pass

 


 You are in 4Heart-small and are not too worried about the overtricks. South's 2Spade-small was a weak jump overcall. South starts off with Spade-smallJ. Plan the play.

About half the field made 4Heart-small and about half did not, which suggests playing this contract posed declarer problems.

The opening lead, a very common one, offered declarers a “Greek gift”, that of discarding West’s diamond on the third round of spades. This was not a good idea for two reasons. Firstly, discarding would not be a win-win situation, especially where South had shown to hold a Weak Jump overcall. The diamond could be discarded but North would certainly ruff the third round of spades. It is true that there would be one less trump in the defenders’ hands but a declarer may well have to manage without scoring a quick diamond trick.

East needed a diamond trick to go with two high spades and Club-smallA because unless trumps broke nicely and one of the minor suits set up easily, this was a hand for cross-ruffing. When you cross-ruff, you need to make you side-suit winners early. Thus, the easiest way to score one, maybe even two diamond tricks, is to concede one, not discard one.

These were the four hands:

East Deals
None Vul
8 2
A Q 6 4
A J 10 6 4
7 4
K Q
9 8 7 3
9
A J 10 8 6 2
 
N
W   E
S
 
A 5 4
K J 10 5
K Q 8 7 2
3
 
J 10 9 7 6 3
2
5 3
K Q 9 5
West North East South
    1  2 
Dbl Pass 4  All pass

 

At the table where Alan Grant and Anne-Marie Russell were defending, the declarer played off the Spade-smallKQ, cashed Club-smallA and ruffed a club before playing a third round of spades discarding a diamond with North ruffing. North then played their small heart (Heart-smallA and a second heart would have been better). However, the declarer misguessed by playing Heart-smallK and subsequently lost three trump tricks and also Diamond-smallA when the West hand was out of trumps.

A diamond at trick 2 would be much more successful for East. North may either win and play a trump or maybe duck that trick. If Diamond-smallA wins, and North plays Heart-smallA and a second heart, East is on much the same trump guess but will be able to score two diamond tricks irrespective, now needing only 5 trump tricks which should be possible even maybe with a trump misguess.

If North stays low, then after cashing the second high spade and Club-smallA, the cross-ruff can start in earnest with a frustrated North having at some point ruffing with the Heart-smallA to try to cut down the ruffing but East only needs six trump tricks to be successful, a realistic number.

A key to success would be not to discard that diamond from dummy. The board saw 10 valuable imps accrue to the Grant team on their way to one of 8 victories in the 10 -match tough competition.:

Winners

Ian Berrington Jane Lennon Anne-Marie Russell and Alan Grant.jpg

     Ian Berrington, Jane Lennon, Anne-Marie Russell and Alan Grant

 

in second place                                                                          

Susan Humphrey GeO  Ella  Nick Jacob  Michael Ware 2020.jpg 
   Susan Humphries, GeO Tislevoll, Ella and Nick Jacob and Michael Ware


3rd placed

Andrew Tarbutt Karen Harris Bill Humphrey Paul Carson.jpg  
  Andrew Tarbutt, Karen Harris, Paul Carson and Bill Humphrey

Good but how good?

     
South Deals
None Vul
 
N
W   E
S
   
 
K
Q 8 2
A K Q J 8 3
K Q 2
West North East South
      1 
Pass 1  2  ?

 

You are playing Pairs and elect to open your potentially strong hand 1Diamond-small. What, though, is your next bid?

Richard Solomon

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