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

This hand oc­curred in a club teams con­test. North’s re­bid of 3H is a mini- splin­ter bid and agrees spades but does not im­ply any ex­tra val­ues. This is pos­si­ble since 2H would have been a re­verse and so forc­ing for one round. West led the queen of clubs. De­clarer took the trick with dummy’s ace and cashed the ace of trumps, pleased to find that the suit was not 4- 0. Now he could count at least four trump tricks and three tricks in the mi­nors. As ruff­ing two hearts would bring the to­tal to only nine tricks when the trumps were not 2- 2, he set about es­tab­lish­ing the di­a­mond suit. He con­tin­ued with ace, king and an­other di­a­monds. When East fol­lowed, de­clarer was about to ruff the trick with a low trump when the thought oc­curred to him, “If I ruff this, what will hap­pen if West has three trumps and only two ? di­a­monds?” The an­swer was, “West will over­ruff with the spade ten, cross to part­ner’s hand with the king of clubs and a fourth round of di­a­monds will pro­mote West’s queen of spades.”

Teams, EW vul, Dealer North

The so­lu­tion to this prob­lem came to de­clarer af­ter a mo­ment’s thought. He could avoid this fate by dis­card­ing his los­ing club. If East could play a di­a­mond then de­clarer would ruff low and the de­fend­ers could take at most two more tricks. At the ta­ble, East tried to cash the king of clubs, which de­clarer ruffed. Next, a low heart was con­ceded and the de­fend­ers were with­out re­course. East won and played an­other club. De­clarer ruffed, played a trump to the ace and ruffed a di­a­mond with the jack of trumps, es­tab­lish­ing a long card in the suit. All West could take was the queen of trumps. Of course, de­clarer should have ducked the open­ing lead of the club queen and won the con­tin­u­a­tion, what­ever it was. He could then draw one round of trumps and play a heart and be com­pletely safe on the lie of the cards. The tech­nique of play­ing one trump with this hold­ing should be noted. Try draw­ing two trumps and see what can go wrong.

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