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Daily Bridge in New Zealand

                         Care and Communication.

Today’s board occurred in the recent on-line Margaret Bourke Memorial Teams with about half the field reaching 6Diamond-small. It was about 50-50 between those who made it and those who did not. So, let’s take a look and see what should have happened.

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West Deals
None Vul
A Q J 6 4 3
K
K J 4 2
9 7
   
N
W   E
S
   
 
A Q 6
Q 8 7 6 5
A Q J 3 2
6  by South

 

Lead Heart-smallJ.

There is obviously ruffing, cross-ruffing to be done. With the trump ace missing, there can be no side-suit losers and nor should there be with North’s second club being comfortably discarded on the second round of hearts. Yet, those who failed seemed to get into trouble by not taking advantage of the favourable trump break or perhaps focused on the wrong suit.

Let’s see all four hands:

West Deals
None Vul
A Q J 6 4 3
K
K J 4 2
9 7
8 7 2
J 10 9 5 4 2
10 3
10 6
 
N
W   E
S
 
K 10 9 5
8 7 3
A 9
K 8 5 4
 
A Q 6
Q 8 7 6 5
A Q J 3 2
6  by South

 

With the first trick won in dummy, ruffing a low spade seems like a good start and then playing a trump towards dummy. Diamond-smallK was taken by Diamond-smallA and a low club returned.

So, up with Club-smallA to play Heart-smallA to discard the potential club loser (certainly no club finesse!). Options can be kept open by playing Club-smallA and then a club ruff. A ruffing finesse in one of the black suits may well be necessary had trumps broken 3-1 but ruff a second low spade and return to dummy with a trump. With the favourable break, declarer can afford to play Spade-smallA and ruff out the Spade-smallK still having a trump to get back to the North hand to enjoy the remaining spades.

Those who failed either:

  •  did not draw 2 rounds of trumps
  • or failed to play trumps as a means of communication between the two hands but simply played a round of trumps without communicating in doing so.
  • Also, although two ruffs would be enough if clubs broke 3-3, a 4-2 break is more common. Spades offer better opportunities for establishing the suit and starting with a low spade ruff was a sound way to go.It seemed a shame not to take advantage of the even trump and normal spade break to make this nice contract.

good luck 2.jpg

Take advantage.

Five Level action

The heart/spade battle continued all the way to the 5-level with spades “winning” as so often is the case. Yet, it was an opponent who bid 5Spade-small and you doubled that contract. So, you want to get all the tricks you can. It’s your lead.

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

 

Your 2Spade-small was Michael’s, hearts and a minor…and the bids kept coming!

So, what’s your choice?

Richard Solomon

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