Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - WATCH ON PRESTO - with DOU­GLAS NEW­LANDS

A sim­ple auc­tion led to the cor­rect con­tract on this hand. Re­spon­der showed a neg­a­tive hand with 2D and then the ar­ti­fi­cial 3C bid showed a very neg­a­tive hand. West led the ace of clubs which de­clarer ruffed and then played the ace of trumps. East’s dis­card was a nasty shock and now de­clarer had to try and ruff a heart in dummy. He cashed the ace and king of hearts and then led the five. West ruffed this with the nine of trumps then crossed to East’s hand with a di­a­mond to the king. Af­ter ruff­ing the fourth heart with the jack of trumps, West ex­ited with a di­a­mond to East’s ace to set four spades by one trick. As ever, North was not sym­pa­thetic to de­clarer’s cries of bad luck. Can you see what de­clarer should have done to cater for this lay­out?

De­clarer should have dis­carded a di­a­mond at trick one. His aim should have been to sur­ren­der the two di­a­mond losers early. If the de­fend­ers played a club at trick two, he should pitch a sec­ond di­a­mond. Teams, Both vul, Dealer South

If an un­likely heart shift came at trick two, he should win, cash the ace of trumps and, see­ing the suit was 4-0, play a sec­ond di­a­mond. If in­stead, the de­fend­ers con­tinue with two rounds of di­a­monds, they are help­ing you to get rid of those pesky di­a­monds.

Af­ter gain­ing the lead at trick three, cash the ace of trumps and, when East shows out, play the ace, king and five of hearts. It will not mat­ter whether West ruffs in with the nine of trumps or dis­cards. If he trumps the five of hearts, he no longer has an en­try to East’s hand to ob­tain a sec­ond heart ruff. All you lose would be a trump and two di­a­monds.

As the cards lie, de­clarer could re­cover at trick three by play­ing a di­a­mond. How­ever that risks go­ing down when hearts are 4-3 and di­a­monds are 2-5 and East can play a di­a­mond win­ner on the third round of the suit. That lay­out would see the de­fend­ers make either two trumps or a trump and a heart.

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