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Daily Bridge in New Zealand

No Profit from “Crime”.

Whoever says crime does not pay, certainly when the crime is reaching the no-trump game and totally missing the top-scoring suit game. At Teams, such a “crime” might gain or lose an imp, not critical in the overall scheme of a day but when matchpoints are involved, you, the defender, must not let them get away with their top-scoring overtrick.

This is how the bidding should have gone and with it the play for an overtrick in a suit contract:

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South Deals
None Vul

K Q 10 2

Q 9 6 5

A K 6 5

2

8 3

8 3

Q 8 4 2

A Q 10 8 5

 

N

W

 

E

S

 

J 9 7 5 4

J 10 2

J 9 3

6 4

 

A 6

A K 7 4

10 7

K J 9 7 3

 

West

North

East

South

 

 

 

1 ♣

Pass

1 

Pass

1 NT

Pass

2 ♣

Pass

2 

Pass

4 

All pass

 

1NT showed 15-17 and 2Club-small checked for majors. South owned up to 4 hearts and North ended the bidding in game.

West might have led a trump but any lead other than a club was safe. They tried Spade-small8 which declarer won in hand with Spade-smallA and the declarer led three rounds of diamonds, ruffing in hand. A second spade was played to the North hand and a second diamond ruffed with East discarding a club.

South then cashed Heart-smallAK and exited a medium club to West. West played a second club. Declarer played Heart-small9 in dummy. East could over-ruff for the defence’s second trick but was then forced to lead a spade into dummy’s Spade-smallQT with those cards and Heart-smallQ taking the last three tricks. Alternatively, if East discarded, they would take a spade at trick 13 instead of their trump trick. Either way, that would be 450 to South.

Yet, at one table, North forgot to check for majors (or else fancied scoring an extra 10 points in 3NT) as West found themselves on lead after this sequence:

South Deals
None Vul

K Q 10 2

Q 9 6 5

A K 6 5

2

8 3

8 3

Q 8 4 2

A Q 10 8 5

 

N

W

 

E

S

 

J 9 7 5 4

J 10 2

J 9 3

6 4

 

A 6

A K 7 4

10 7

K J 9 7 3

 

West

North

East

South

 

 

 

1 ♣

Pass

1 

Pass

1 NT

Pass

3 NT

All pass

 

With 1Club-small being as short as 2, they tried the effect of Club-small8 which was won by Club-small9 in the South hand. South played four rounds of hearts with West discarding two clubs and East a low spade. Next came three top spades with South discarding a club and West having to throw a low diamond.

These cards remained:

 

10

A K 6 5

Q 8 4

A Q

 

N

W

 

E

S

 

J

J 9 3

6

 

10 7

K J 7

 

 

South was on the verge of making 11 tricks if they could end-play West. They played Diamond-smallAK but West was alive to what was happening and with East giving count showing an odd number, West threw Diamond-smallQ under the Diamond-smallK.

Thus, East could win trick 10 with Diamond-smallJ and either cash Spade-smallJ or else play their remaining club immediately so that West won two club tricks. Either way, the defence had won three tricks and South was restricted to +630, a worse score for missing their heart fit.

Of such solid defence comes success at Pairs. North-South had stumbled into the wrong contract for which they could have been rewarded with a virtual clear top had West not been alive to the potential and indeed real threat of an end-play.

Richard Solomon

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