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

This hand comes from the Gee­long Congress Teams event. South opened 1S and, af­ter the dou­ble, North jumped to game. This is cor­rect since there is a 10 card trump fit and the Law of To­tal Tricks sug­gests bid­ding for 10 tricks and North has 7 losers ( only one in spades be­cause of the 10 card fit) and 7 losers op­po­site an opener is suf­fi­cient for game. Even those who rely on point count should add 3 for the sin­gle­ton and reach 13 and should bid game. If NS were play­ing a nat­u­ral sys­tem where South might be strong a 4C splin­ter bid would be the best choice. How­ever, NS were play­ing pre­ci­sion and, since South was limited to a max­i­mum of 15 hcp, there is lit­tle chance of a slam and the leap to 4S was clear. East rea­son­ably bid 5C and North de­cided to bid one more and that ended the auc­tion. If the vul­ner­a­bil­ity had been the other way around, East might have bid 6C as sac­ri­fice but this is rarely a good idea at ad­verse vul­ner­a­bil­ity.

Since they have both shown clubs ( dou­ble promised the other three suits), West led the ob­vi­ous QC and East won the ace. East con­tin­ued a heart to the queen and ace and de­clarer had to find eleven tricks. The bid­ding has been quite re­veal­ing since West dou­bled and East has shown the AC. This means that both di­a­mond honours are off­side. There are also plenty of trumps so an elim­i­na­tion play looks best. The next ques­tion is who can have three trumps. The take out dou­bler is short in spades so only East can have three so play the AS first and then a small one to South for two more rounds. Cash the KH, cross to dummy with a trump, cash the heart jack and then play a di­a­mond to the jack. West will win this but has to lead a di­a­mond away from the other hon­our or give a ruff and dis­card. Sur­pris­ingly, 25 of 34 ta­bles played 4S. Per­haps West, weakly, did not dou­ble 1S be­cause East would surely bid 5C af­ter a dou­ble. EW are un­lucky that it is dif­fi­cult to find the killing di­a­mond lead af­ter the 5C bid.

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