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

This hand comes from the Aus­tralian Swiss Pairs held re­cently at Wrest Point Casino.

The event for­mat is imp pairs where your imp score is determined by the dif­fer­ence be­tween your score and the av­er­age score of the field on that board. Be­cause you are de­pen­dent on what the field is do­ing, it is nec­es­sary to be lucky enough to play more than your share of the boards es­pe­cially games and slams. Any game bid and made against you is some loss and any slam will be at least eight imps out! In round three, we were beaten by op­po­nents who bid and made a game and a slam against us that the field didn’t. Even though we beat five of their eight con­tracts, th­ese two losses of 10 and 11 imps led to an over­all loss. On board 26, they bid the very light game as shown be­low. One can imag­ine the board be­ing passed out and it was at 12 of 60 ta­bles. Game was reached at only four ta­bles and made only once. Both East and West cer­tainly bid up!

The re­sponse to 2NT showed a good five card suit and a good hand. The lead of a heart looks nor­mal but it lets the con­tract home. If South con­tin­ues with a sec­ond heart, de­clarer will ruff two hearts. Since the only quick en­try is a top trump, de­clarer will serendip­i­tously drop the off­side QS. Now a di­a­mond to the 10 al­lows de­clarer to draw the last trump and make 11 tricks. If South tries switch­ing to a trump at trick two, de­clarer can fol­low a sim­i­lar line. Even a switch to clubs at trick two will only hold the con­tract to 10 tricks. All this is not to sug­gest you should bid like a ma­niac since there is a loser in each mi­nor, pos­si­bly a sec­ond in di­a­monds, and de­clarer can­not take the trump fi­nesse and ruff two hearts. Although the EW hands fit well, this is still a for­tu­nate con­tract.

Is there any­thing NS can do? The lead of a small di­a­mond threat­ens a third round ruff and de­clarer has no good an­swer. Drawing trumps leads to three heart losers and try­ing to ruff a heart, gives the di­a­mond ruff and the KC.

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