Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - PUZZLES - with DOU­GLAS NEW­LANDS

This hand is from the re­cent Vic­tor Cham­pion Cup in Melbourne and both teams bid to 6D. The ac­tual 2/ 1 GF auc­tion that was made against us is shown. The 4D bid was mi­nor­wood and South showed two key­cards with­out the QD. At our ta­ble, East found the lead of the 6S, dummy played the 10 and the three and two com­pleted the trick. De­clarer cashed the AD and crossed to the AH be­fore re­turn­ing a small di­a­mond for a fi­nesse. This lost to the QD and East had an op­por­tu­nity to give his part­ner a spade ruff. This should be sim­ple since West is known to not hold the king or queen of spades since he would have cov­ered the 10S. EW were play­ing nat­u­ral signals so, with 83 dou­ble­ton, West would have played the 8S. De­clarer should have mud­died the wa­ters by play­ing the 8S on trick one. Now, it is not clear if West has the sin­gle­ton 3 or 32 dou­ble­ton and East might miss the ruff­ing chance.

In the other room, the same con­tract was played, more nor­mally, by South af­ter the auc­tion 1H- 1S- 2D- 4D- 4N- 6D.

Now, West leads the sin­gle­ton spade and it is ob­vi­ous to ev­ery­one that it is a sin­gle­ton since that is the only rea­son for lead­ing the op­po­nent’s suit. De­clarer beat the JS with the ace, played the AD, re­turned to hand with a heart and took the di­a­mond fi­nesse and also went one down to the spade ruff. De­clarer needs to count her tricks. There are 4 spades, 2 hearts, two clubs, at least 3 di­a­monds and a ruff of ei­ther clubs or hearts. As only 3 di­a­mond tricks are re­quired, de­clarer should play the AKD. If di­a­monds are 3- 2, the con­tract is easy to make just leav­ing the QD out. If the QD falls, as here, then draw the last trump and try for 13 tricks. Lastly, if the di­a­monds are 4- 1 on­side, sim­ply ruff a club and lead a third di­a­mond to­ward the JD to pick up the out­stand­ing small trump.

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