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Daily Bridge in New Zealand

Jan Cormack.

One Hand: Two Questions on “Jan’s Day”.

There could be two very different outcomes depending on your answer to the first of two questions below.

a. Would you bid as East? Be honest, answer this before you come to the next question.

b. If you pass, the bidding goes as below. Would you reach second time for the pass or for the double card?

Bridge in NZ.pngnz map.jpg

     
West Deals
Both Vul
 
N
W   E
S
 
A K 7 3 2
A Q 9 5
4 3
8 2
West North East South
Pass 1 NT Pass 4 
Pass Pass ?  

 

Rather surprisingly, East elected to stay silent first time thus giving rise to the second problem and so over to Jan to tell the story. The deal came from the 1980 World Olympiad at Valkenburg where Jan herself held the East cards:

“There are certain hands that tend to remain in our memories. Usually, they are ones we would prefer to forget! The following deal saw me double 4Spade-small rather optimistically:

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

 

My partner led the Diamond-smallQ with dummy’s ace winning. Declarer played Spade-small10 from dummy which I allowed to win. I took the spade continuation with Spade-smallK and exited with a diamond to the king in the closed hand.

Declarer played Spade-smallQ to my ace. My exit was Club-small8 to the ace in the North hand. A second high club followed to be followed by a diamond ruff as I discarded a heart. South then cashed the Spade-smallJ leaving the following end position with South having won 7 out of the first 9 tricks:

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

 

Declarer drew my last trump. West had to throw Heart-smallJ. Had she thrown a club, South could throw Club-smallQ from dummy and would then make the two clubs in the South hand before losing a heart at trick 13. Also, West had to keep her diamond.

After West threw Heart-smallJ, declarer threw Heart-small10 from dummy and read the end- position very well. A club to the queen was followed by the Diamond-small9 to West’s Diamond-smallJ…and alas West had no heart to play. Trick 13 was a club to the high jack in the South hand and South had made 10 tricks without hearts having been played at all.”

not good enough.jpg ?

 

It seems that an initial heart lead would prevent this ending though West was not to know. Five good trumps and an outside ace may not be enough to defeat a 4-level game.

What, though, had East bid say 2Club-small to show both majors? That would give interesting problems for South and West who would both have an interest in one major. The heart lead against a spade contract becomes much more likely while West could bid relatively safely up to 3Heart-small, where successful trump finesses would see declarer score 9 tricks. I think today many would not be put off by the strong no-trump opening and would show both majors with reasonable chances of a better result than the one Jan and her partner suffered.

“A Multi” Christmas

We told you recently you have to cope with the Multi 2Diamond-small whether you play the system or not. So, it’s East’s turn to open the “Mult” and your turn as North to take action.

 
 
 
8 3
A K 9 5 4
K 8
K Q 4 3
West North East South
    2  Pass
2  ?    

 

2Heart-small was a normal non-forcing “pass or correct” and the Multi showed either a Weak 2 in a Major or 20-22 balanced.

Richard Solomon

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