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Daily Bridge in New Zealand

Jan’s Day: Remembering John

Today’s deal is in memory of NZ Bridge Life Member, John Evitt, who died recently. A potentially tough play hand for many but grand slam bid and made for John.

Bridge in NZ.pngnz map.jpg

 

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

 

It looked to West that their opponents were going to play the board in clubs as South launched into Blackwood after the 2Club-small bid, hence the double requested a heart lead. 5Diamond-small showed one ace and 5Heart-small was a grand slam try, hence confirming that all the aces were present. However, North had not yet shown spade support and thus jumped to grand slam in that suit.

West led Diamond-small9. Plan the play. We will tell you that trumps break 2-2 and clubs 4-1, West holding 4.

The board was played at Easter 40 years ago.

Jan’s Day.

“Auckland shows the rest the winning way

Over Easter, the New Zealand Open Teams Trials were held in Auckland. This was won by the Auckland team of Lionel Wright, David Matthews, John Evitt and Alex Moore.

The following is a hand taken from these trials with John Evitt, South, as declarer:

 

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

 

South’s 4NT was an ace ask and after the response of one ace, 5Heart-small showed grand slam interest. This was actually a grand slam force in clubs but North, who as yet had not had the chance to show his great spade support, correctly jumped to 7Spade-small.

West led Diamond-small9 and South took stock. If clubs behaved, there did not appear to be any problems making the contract as declarer would have five spade tricks, one heart, three diamonds and four clubs.

John Evitt won the diamond lead with his singleton queen and played two rounds of trumps, everyone following. With West’s double of 5Heart-small, John was quite sure that, if needed, the heart finesse would lose.

John Evitt Jan Cormack 1991.jpg
John and Jan

He then tested clubs by playing Club-smallAQ from hand to receive the bad news that West also held four clubs. A spade was then played to dummy followed by Diamond-smallAK on which the declarer threw both "smal"l hearts (i.e. Heart-smallQ2). Then, a heart to the ace to be followed by South’s last two trumps.

This was the position before South played his last trump:

 

 
J
K 6
K
J 10
 
N
W   E
S
 
9
J 6
 
7
7 4

 

If West throws a club on the Spade-small7, South discards dummy’s losing heart. If West lets go the Heart-smallK, then dummy’s Heart-smallJ will be high with declarer throwing dummy’s small club. Either way, South would collect all 13 tricks.”

It is interesting how bidding systems change. Nowadays, North’s reply to 1Spade-smallmay well be a game forcing Jacoby 2NT. The end contract would very likely be the same but there would be no “helpful” double along the way from West. Without that double, a declarer might choose the heart finesse instead of playing for the squeeze.

A Lead for a Day?

 

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

 

Normally, Thursday is the day where the problem is for the less experienced. This week, we will delay that feature 24 hours.

There’s quite a lot of opposition bidding above given that we have and have announced a strong no-trump type hand. We are also near top of the range, too.

We might have considered doubling 4Heart-small even if our partner had not doubled 3NT. However, with that double, our double became a stone- cold certainty! Indeed, a visitor from outer space might have considered that our double came a little too eagerly!

No worries… it’s your lead...and that's never a worry, is it?

Richard Solomon

 

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