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

This hand ( ro­tated for con­ve­nience) is from round nine of the ANC event in Ade­laide where Tas­ma­nia nar­rowly lost a match to the ACT. The North hand is a pos­si­ble light opener and was opened at some ta­bles but not this one. The auc­tion started sim­ply enough but North had a prob­lem on the sec­ond round as they had con­sid­er­able undis­closed val­ues. North also re­flected that South clearly had long hearts but hadn’t opened 4H or 4C which was a stronger kind of 4H bid. A 4S bid might now be seen as an at­tempt to play there. A 5D cue bid, try­ing to draw at­ten­tion to the lack of a club con­trol, might be bet­ter but North sim­ply bid the slam. South might have had the bet­ter hand, but one can see that South was try­ing to make a prac­ti­cal bid op­po­site a passed part­ner. The de­fence missed the killing club lead when West led the sin­gle­ton spade. De­clarer has 11 tricks with six hearts, three di­a­monds and two black aces. Clearly, de­clarer has to de­velop one trick and it has to come from spades.

South ducked the spade in dummy and East won the KS and im­me­di­ately gave West a spade ruff which was 13 imps away since they had stopped in the other room. De­clarer should have re­flected that West had led dummy’s suit and good play­ers do not lead through dummy’s long suit un­less they have a sin­gle­ton. Once this is re­alised, the con­tract can be seen to be safe. Win the ace of spades at trick one and draw trumps. Now sur­ren­der the QS to the KS and win the club re­turn. En­ter dummy with the QD and lead the 10S for a ruff­ing fi­nesse and throw the los­ing club on the 10 or 9 of spades. The hand em­pha­sises the need for plan­ning be­fore play­ing to trick one. De­clarer here was not un­lucky that the lead was a sin­gle­ton since it is ob­vi­ously such when led by a good player. No­tice that if de­clarer avoided the club lead and got a red suit lead, there are three red suit en­tries to dummy, af­ter trumps split 2- 2, and the spades can be ruffed up on any 3- 3 or 4- 2 split and some 5- 1 splits.

Teams, Both vul, Dealer North

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