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A wolf in sheep’s clothing.

Jan’s Day comes early: Appearances can be Deceptive.

It’s OK. You did not sleep through Tuesday and suddenly find that day had gone. We are a day early this week with our regular “Jan’s Day” feature as we have something a little different planned for tomorrow. Actually, today’s decision is a little different, too, as we are making our decision at a very very high level. So, over to Jan to explain:

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East Deals
N-S Vul
 
N
W   E
S
   
 
Q 8 3 2
A K 10 9 8 6 5 3
4
West North East South
    2 NT 3 
Pass 5 NT 6 NT ?

                          

A delightful auction so far. 2NT was both minors and less than an opening hand while 5NT was natural. Are you “game” to try for grand or are you going to extract whatever penalty you can from your frisky opponent?

 

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Jan Cormack

Jan's Day: Don’t Judge Opponents by their Appearance

“Do not ever make the mistake of underestimating your opponents. In just about every sport, this is a golden lesson all aspiring stars are taught.

Some have to learn the hard way as experienced by our very confident East/West pair when they confronted two rather frail looking “little old ladies” in a duplicate pairs tournament.

East, the dealer, held Spade-smallK6 Heart-small – Diamond-small Diamond-smallKJT982  Club-small QJT83 and decided there was a chance to confuse his opponents with an unusual 2NT opening, showing long minors and less than an opening hand, especially as East-West were green against red.

Without any hesitation, South bid 3Heart-small. West passed and North went into a trance. She finally emerged with a shaky 5NT.

Not content, East bid 6NT probably hoping his “inferior” opponents would either not know what to do or would bid one more which he was sure had no chance of making.

It was thus South’s turn to go into a trance. A distinct “who knows?” was followed by “7Heart-small” with East’s double closing the auction.

East was mentally chalking up a top board as his partner led Diamond-small6. This was the full deal:

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

 

East was pleased to note declarer’s grimace when dummy appeared. Diamond-smallA took the first trick to be followed by Heart-smallQ. Next came Club-smallAK with two spades being thrown from declarer’s hand. Club-small2 was ruffed with Heart-small8 and a trump played to dummy’s Heart-smallJ. Club-small5 was ruffed with Heart-small9 with West discarding a spade. With a resigned air, the declarer played trumps until this four-card ending was reached:

 

 
A 10
Q
7
J 9 7
5
 
N
W   E
S
 
K 6
K
Q
 
Q 8
5 3

 

When Heart-small5 was played, declarer discarded Spade-small10 from dummy and “smarty-pants” East was caught in a triple squeeze. Having to retain both minor honours, he took his only chance and discarded Spade-small6, hoping that West held Spade-smallQ.

However, South played a spade to the ace dropping East’s Spade-smallK. Declarer could ruff a minor card back to hand to cash the Spade-smallQ as her 13th winner at trick 13.

A very subdued East left the table feeling as if he had been run over by a bulldozer!”

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“Well played” might have been a good choice of words for East who learnt, or should have learnt a good lesson that day.

 

Any Day Playing Bridge is a Fun Day

Yes, we hope this one is, too.

 
East Deals
N-S Vul
   
J 10 9 8 6 5 3
A
A K Q J 8
 
N
W   E
S
   
West North East South
    1  Pass
1  1  4  Pass
4 NT Dbl 5  Pass
?      

 

West would have been a little surprised by their partner’s second bid. With North poking in a double, East’s third bid showed two key cards and the Heart-smallQ. Well? What now?

Richard Solomon

 

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