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Daily Bridge in New Zealand

Winners never give up: you had better believe it!

Never give up at the bridge table. There may seem little hope especially when you see such a strong hand as the one below as dummy.  Do not forget that the hand you cannot see might have a 9 as its highest card, on a good day! The fact that the undisclosed hand had made three bids does not mean anything! Be positive!

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South Deals
None Vul

K

A K Q J

A K Q J 6 5

K 8

A 9 5

7 6 5 2

7 4 2

Q J 5

 

N

W

 

E

S

   

 

West

North

East

South

you

dummy

   

 

 

 

Pass

Pass

2 ♣

Pass

2 

Pass

3 

Pass

3 ♠

Pass

3 NT

Pass

4 

All pass

 

 

 

 

Dummy is very good, a mere 26 hcp….and not only are they not in slam but North is not even declarer! After a standard 2Club-small opening and negative 2Diamond-small response, the bidding was natural.

As West, you lead Club-small Q with the Club-small K being covered by your partner’s ace. Partner played  Club-small10, winning, and then  Spade-small6 to your ace …and then?

The most negative thing you could do would be to exit a trump, a zero per cent chance of scoring any more tricks. A diamond is no better. There is no chance partner has 0 diamonds and one heart. Come on now. Beat this contract!

What you should be saying to yourself is that massive 26 count has already been reduced to a working 20 count: the black kings were not carrying full weight. What do you know about declarer’s hand? They have at least 5 spades and at least 4 hearts to bid the way they have. If they have 5 hearts, then your chances of fourth trick are also almost zero. So, you have to hope that South has only 9 cards in the majors.

Have you noticed that you, too, have four trumps? If you force declarer to ruff in dummy, they might just have difficulty in drawing your last trump and then running the diamonds….great difficulty as it happened.

So, which black suit should you play at trick 4? If declarer has three small clubs, then it should be the Club-smallJ and if declarer does not have the Spade-smallQ, then it is a spade. As it happened, either play works:

South Deals
None Vul

K

A K Q J

A K Q J 6 5

K 8

A 9 5

7 6 5 2

7 4 2

Q J 5

 

N

W

 

E

S

 

Q J 8 6

10

10 9 3

A 10 9 7 6

 

10 7 4 3 2

9 8 4 3

8

4 3 2

 

West

North

East

South

you

dummy

   

 

 

 

Pass

Pass

2 ♣

Pass

2 

Pass

3 

Pass

3 ♠

Pass

3 NT

Pass

4 

All pass

 

 

 

South had a stronger hand than they might…a 10! The play of either black suit forces the ruff and is followed by three rounds of trumps and, perforce, high diamonds. All it required was for your partner to hold at least two diamonds including D10: they South had a stronger hand than they might…a 10! The play of either black suit forces the ruff and is followed by three rounds of trumps and, perforce, high diamonds. All it required was for your partner to hold at least two diamonds including Diamond-small10: they obliged! 

In fact, after you have ruffed the fourth round of diamonds, there will still be a spade trick to come for your partner….down two. How that almighty hand had fallen!

Maybe South should have passed 3NT. There is a real and psychological advantage in having the strong hand as declarer. South could assume their partner had less than 3 spades (no spade support) and there was no guarantee of a heart fit. With the heart game unmakeable by South, the only making game would be 3NT by North unless East led a low spade and West switched to Club-smallQ, by no means certain defence.

So, all North got to do was to open their game force, bid their long suit once and then get the coffees! Meanwhile, hopefully, West was not distracted by such power in dummy and focussed on beating the game contract.

positive wishing.png

“Surely there is a bridge club on the
other side?!”

A little positive wishing can bring in surprisingly good results.

I hope you have been able to play some Bridge during 2021 whether on -line or live. Here’s hoping for plenty more in the New Year. We’ll be back with some more interesting deals.

Happy New Year to all readers.

Richard Solomon 

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