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Daily Bridge in New Zealand

       It’s Jan’s Day.     Calling Sherlock.

Well, actually, you do not need him as you can do all the detective work yourself. So, do you have your magnifying glass ready? Be prepared to sift through all the evidence.

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

 It is Jan’s Day and in preparation you have to decide how to make 10 tricks on the above deal. West leads Diamond-small K and you elect to duck that. Well, you are looking at maybe two diamond, two club and maybe a trump loser. You are not in a position to claim, yet!

 West switches to Spade-smallJ, the trick going Spade-small2 in dummy, Spade-small9 from East (high encourage) and ruffed by you in the South hand. Well, what now?

jan cormack 2021  1.jpg
  Jan Cormack

 

Jan’s Day

 

“Inference is a talent bridge players must develop to draw the correct conclusions from a call or play. The following deal from a friendly teams-of-four match abounds with inferences. In fact, it was not so much what the opponents did but more their lack of bidding that provided the delicate clues for the winning line.

 

On receiving the opening lead, as declarer in the South seat, you survey your dummy and weigh up your chances of success. With a possible trump loser, two diamond and two club losers, the situation looks fairly grim.

 

Nevertheless, we sit on the edge of our seat ready for attack as West leads the Diamond-smallK. Diamond-smallK is allowed to hold the trick. West switches to Spade-smallJ, Spade-small2 from dummy, Spade-small9 from East and ruffed in hand with Heart-small7. What do we need to bring home the contract?

 

The first consideration is the trump suit. Then, we know that West has Diamond-smallKQ and East Spade-smallAQ. Next is the club suit. This has to be negotiated for one loser. Therefore, we require the king to be with East.

 

Knowing East has Spade-smallAQ and hoping they have Club-smallK, essential for the success of our contract, we must therefore assume West has Heart-smallK. Why?

 
If East had the Heart-smallK along with Spade-smallAQ and Club-smallK, that would have given East an opening bid and, of course, as dealer, East had already passed.

 Having made all these educated guesses, we come to the conclusion that our only chance is that West must have the singleton Heart-smallK.

 Accordingly, at trick 3, we lay down the Heart-smallA and when the bare king appears, give ourselves a pat on the back for once again making a contract because we read the inferences correctly.

 

This was the full deal:

 

 

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

 

Contract made for the loss of one club and two diamond tricks.”

elementary my dear watson.jpg

   “ Elementary, my dear Watson”.      

 

  Maybe not.

 

There is no evidence from Jan’s article that the declarer was John Evitt, the NZ Bridge Life Member who passed away very recently. John and Jan were very good friends at and away from the table. John was an extremely fast quick-thinking player. Yet, occasionally, he took a long long time as every good player needs to. I could imagine John analysing the above deal and coming to the above conclusion. It would be nice to dedicate this deal in John’s memory.

 

SUIT STOLEN …for less experienced players and others

     
West Deals
E-W Vul
 
N
W   E
S
   
 
A K Q 10 9 5
K 9 8 3
J 3 2
West North East South
Pass Pass 1  Pass
1 NT Pass 2  ?

 

The deal sounds like a misfit. Should we let them struggle to find a fit? Would you now take any action? If so, what?

Richard Solomon

 

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