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

The GNOT fi­nal was held at Tweed Heads re­cently. The fi­nal was won by Ade­laide 1 over Ade­laide 2, largely due to a huge score in the se­cond stanza. Nei­ther of the Tas­ma­nian teams starred in the over­all re­sults this year but there is al­ways some in­ter­est when the North and South Tas­ma­nia teams face off. This year, the South snapped the North’s se­ries of wins in re­cent years. The match was a quiet set of boards but board 12 was an in­ter­est­ing hand of­fer­ing a va­ri­ety of out­comes af­ter a com­pet­i­tive auc­tion like that shown. On the se­cond round, West made a cue raise show­ing a game in­vi­ta­tional, or bet­ter, spade raise with de­fen­sive val­ues. North and East made the ob­vi­ous game bids. Now, one of NS should bid 5H and be dou­bled as shown. This is the par con­tract be­cause it gives the min­i­mum loss for both sides. The de­fence to 5HX was sim­ple as there are three losers af­ter the ob­vi­ous spade lead. As NS, Hugh Grosvenor and Ann Pa­ton suc­cess­fully bid to 5HX for a po­ten­tially good score if their EW pair could make 4S. In the other room, Judy Bills and Wynne Web­ber were al­lowed to play in 4S. The de­fend­ers took their three red win­ners and the out­come de­pended on the club suit. At the ta­ble, East fi­nessed the club queen and, per­haps un­luck­ily, went one down. The nor­mal way to play this hold­ing is to fi­nesse the club queen but, if South has long clubs, run­ning the jack is bet­ter. Here, North and South both have seven ma­jor cards and, su­per­fi­cially, it ap­pears fine to fi­nesse the club queen. How­ever, there are hints to play the se­cond line. If South leads the AH, the AD and then the 9D, this shows three di­a­monds ini­tially ( since a low card would show two or four). Now, South looks to be 1633 and lead­ing the jack is cor­rect. Also, South has not bid like some­one with 1651 or 1741 and so has 2+ clubs. Both lines are fine if the clubs are 2- 2 so lead the JC in case they are 3- 1. When the JC is cov­ered by the KC, there is a se­cond- round de­ci­sion whether to fi­nesse the 10 or drop it. In a club game, a weak South might not cover the jack mak­ing it all too easy.

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