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Daily Bridge in New Zealand

Which way to 12 tricks?

In a vacuum (it does happen once every ten years at the bridge table), you seem to have a very straightforward assignment with the hands below. If you can prevent the trump queen from scoring a trick, then you will have just one loser…and maybe even should you lose to that major queen, if you can bring home the heart suit for four tricks, you will still be fine. Sounds a good contract then? There’s only one problem. This is not that "once in a decade" happening. There is plenty more information to digest before you decide on your line.

Bridge in NZ.pngnz map.jpg


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

 

Your 1Spade-small is a limited opening with less than 16 hcp. 3Club-small is a weak jump with 5Spade-small specifically suggesting South bids slam with a control in the enemy suit. You oblige and receive Heart-small2 lead. What next?

 

That 5Spade-small bid is a handy one when you are thinking about slam in a major suit when the opposition have been in the bidding and you have two or more small cards in their suit. North was very interested in a spade slam with clubs being the real danger. Thus, the raise to 5 of the trump suit asks for help in that suit, a situation when cue-bidding may not help.

 

Yet, West did not lead their suit. They chose Heart-small2 which looks very much like a singleton. If so, your line seems fairly clear in that you can draw trumps, discard one club on the Heart-smallK and take a ruffing finesse through East, thus disposing of the other small club on the established Heart-small10 (or discard if East does not cover Heart-smallJ). So, how are the spades breaking? We must assume that West has at least one trump or else why try for the ruff? At the table our declarer decided to play Spade-smallA and a spade to the jack, intending to play as indicated above.

poisoned ivy.gif

 

Poisoned ivy,a
Greek gift?

 

Alas, this line was not a success:

 

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

 

West won their queen and now played Club-smallK. East used their Spade-small10 to good effect for the defence. Had the Club-smallK been led at trick 1, South would still have been left with a tricky spade guess after an initial ruff. Had they guessed right (play Spade-smallAK), then the contract would have made.

 

South was unlucky that West had just bid 3Club-small with a decent looking seven-card club suit though perhaps with a ruff imminent (though not the ruff that actually happened), playing top trumps is often preferable to taking any trump finesse. It certainly was on the above deal.

 

However, it seems strange that West led a singleton heart which only works when their partner holds the ace. Holding the Spade-smallQ, the Club-smallK lead seems more normal scoring perhaps two tricks when a declarer takes the wrong view in trumps. Had East held Spade-smallQTxx (which is more likely after a Club-smallK lead) then a spade finesse is required.

 

This board was played during one of last weekend’s on-line test matches between New Zealand and Australia. It produced a healthy swing for Australia whose pair played in the safety of game.

 

3-2 to the Kiwis

 5 matches in Open, Women, Mixed, Senior and Youth categories and we came out on top in three of the five. Matches were over 6 x 16 board sets on Real Bridge with the New Zealand players stationed at the Auckland and Christchurch Bridge Clubs. In summary:

 

Open   New Zealand 220                         Australia 162

 

Matt Brown – Michael Whibley                  Peter Gill – Sartaj Hans

 

Nick Jacob- GeO Tislevoll                         Michael Courtney – Paul Wyer

 

Martin Reid – Peter Newell

 

Derek Evennett (npc)

 

 New Zealand won four of the six sets, most significantly the second by 36imps to record a win in astrongly contested match.

 

Women New Zealand 221                      Australia 116

 

Shirley Newton – Jenny Wilkinson           Jessica Brake – Susan Humphries

 

Jan Alabaster – Pam Livingston              Marianne Bookallil – Jodi Tutty

 

Andi Boughey – Carol Richardson          Giselle Mundell – Rena Kaplan

 

Kris Wooles (npc)

 

New Zealand hit the lead after set 2 and never looked back winning all but the first set, including a large 44 imp win in set 4.

 

Mixed

 

New Zealand   201                                    Australia 160

 

Jenny Millington – Barry Jones                 Leone Fuller – Trevor Fuller

 

Liz Fisher – Blair Fisher                            Pele Rankin – Stephen Fischer

 

Jo Simpson – Sam Simpson                     Tania Lloyd – Hugh Grosvenor

 

Grant Jarvis (npc)

 

The Kiwis were 74 imps up with 32 boards to play. 32 of the lead disappeared in set 5 though there the come-back ended with the last 16 boards being just about even.

 

Seniors

 

New Zealand 165                          Australia 238

 

Tom Jacob – Brian Mace              Robert Krochmalik – Paul Lavings

 

Julie Atkinson – Pat Carter          Stephen Burgess – Gabi Lorentz

 

Alan Grant – John Skipper           George Kozakos – George Smolanko

 

Allan Morris (npc)

 

It was Australia all the way, certainly from the time they won the second set by 38 imps.

 

Youth

 

New Zealand 168                          Australia 320

 

Jack James – Leon Meier              Andrew Spooner- Renee Cooper

 

Zachary Yan – Kevin Hu                Jamie Thompson – David Gue

 

                                                  Bertie Morgan – George Bartley

 

Sam Coutts (npc)

 

The first half was close despite a huge 43 imp win to Australia in the first set. However, on Day 2, Australia piled on 191 imps, far too many for the less experienced Kiwis.

 

Do you double? What do you lead? 

Two questions for Jan’s Day:

 

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

 

The bidding is natural with 5Diamond-small showing one ace. Your opening shows 12-14.

Richard Solomon

 

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