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

This hand looks to be a quiet part score but care­less de­fence let de­clarer make too many over­tricks. The auc­tion was as shown. As West, I would pre­fer re­bid­ding 2S for the same rea­sons as one would trans­fer to 2S over a 1NT open­ing. South had to find a lead and, with two un­bid suits, it is clear to lead one of them. Of­ten, it is cor­rect to pre­fer an un­bid ma­jor but East might have re­bid 2C hold­ing both mi­nors. The fact that they didn’t makes a club more at­trac­tive. Also, East might have a heart suit but not enough val­ues to be able to bid it and that makes the heart less at­trac­tive. There is also less rush to try to set up a suit de­fend­ing 1NT than there is de­fend­ing 3NT. For th­ese rea­sons, and the safety of the solid se­quence, South led the QC. North over­took with the AC and re­turned the 9C which looks like an ini­tial three card club suit. South knows that some­thing has gone wrong be­cause this would mean East has 5 clubs and that is in­con­sis­tent with the auc­tion. Teams, None vul, Dealer South

♠On win­ning the 10C, South tried the heart suit to no great avail and de­clarer ended with 10 tricks. North ex­plained that the club play was an at­tempt to un­block the clubs. Let us ex­am­ine this closely. The lead of a queen against a no trump con­tract prom­ises QJ10 or QJ9 at the head of the suit. Since North has the 9C, South is known to have QJ10. If the de­fen­sive clubs are 4- 4, there is no pos­si­ble block­age. If South has 5 clubs, then East has pre­cisely king dou­ble­ton and the king will ap­pear on the sec­ond round. The po­ten­tially block­ing 9 will be put un­der the JC or 10C with­out any stress. Thus, the only case where North needs to be wary is the case in point where South has the short suit and North has the fourth round win­ner. North needs to make the stan­dard re­turn of a low club show­ing an ini­tial hold­ing of 2 or 4 cards and this re­moves the dan­ger of ac­ci­den­tally pro­mot­ing the 8C to be­ing a win­ner.

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