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

The Grand Na­tional Open Teams (GNOT) and Pairs events took place in Tweed Heads at the end of Novem­ber. Al­though the Southern Tas­ma­nia team fin­ished in the mid­dle of the field, it was a cred­itable per­for­mance given the num­ber of op­po­si­tion teams from the main­land cities. How­ever, both pairs in the team pro­duced ex­cel­lent per­for­mances in the IMP Pairs events. In the GNOT Swiss pairs, Darryl Smith and Phil Beck fin­ished first in the cat­e­gory of provin­cial play­ers and eighth over­all. In the Aus­tralian Flitch Cham­pi­onship, for pairs who are life part­ners as well as bridge part­ners, Rob and Jayne Tyson were sec­ond. The tour­na­ment used the same hands for all events tak­ing place at the same time so all pairs were con­fronted with the bid­ding prob­lem shown be­low (ro­tated for con­ve­nience). When South opens 1S, the fit is found im­me­di­ately but can you reach the grand slam?

The dif­fi­culty is that South has most of their val­ues op­po­site North’s heart short­age. Most of the field bid to 6S with less than 25% reach­ing 7S. Jane and Rob bid as shown. In re­sponse to Ja­coby, South up­graded the hand to 17-19 be­cause of shape and con­trols. There then fol­lowed a se­ries of cue bids (first round first) and 5NT was a trump ask. When South showed one of the top three, North bid the grand slam for a great score!

Darryl and Phil were for­tu­nate to have op­po­nents who were not so en­ter­pris­ing in the auc­tion and only reached 6S which was the da­tum score. The play of the hand is sim­ple and just re­quires ruff­ing two hearts and dis­card­ing the other two. Even if trumps are 3-0 this can be done safely be­fore draw­ing the third trump.

Al­though 7NT might make, it will al­ways fail on a club lead. I will leave the play as a puz­zle not­ing that there are only twelve tricks: that is you are one trick short and that im­plies look­ing for a squeeze.

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