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

This hand is from the fi­nal of the Vic­to­rian pen­nant and was played by Justin Howard. The auc­tion started with a heart pre­empt by West. Some may think it is a trick light for a vul­ner­a­ble pre­empt but, if you are not go­ing to pre­empt on a suit this good, you are too easy to play against. Since South had shown a good hand (re­mem­ber that one doesn’t make weak bids over a pre­empt) with the 4D pro­tec­tive bid, North checked on key cards and bid the slam.

It’s not a great slam since there is a cer­tain spade loser and you have to find the king of di­a­monds and the queen of clubs and trumps must not be 4-0. Or is it as bad as that? Justin showed that the po­si­tion of the queen of clubs is ir­rel­e­vant so to demon­strate that, the di­a­gram lacks a seven of clubs and has two queens of clubs! West led the king of hearts to the ace and the di­a­mond fi­nesse was taken. A spade back to the ace al­lowed an­other di­a­mond fi­nesse and the king popped up. Now de­clarer ducked a spade that was won by the jack and an­other spade re­turned.

Can you take over from here? West seems to be 7222 but does it in­clude the QC? The key is that only West guards the hearts and only East guards the spades so, af­ter ruff­ing the spade re­turn and run­ning trumps, the po­si­tion be­fore the last trump is

When the 7D is cashed, West and North dis­card a heart but West is known to have an­other heart and, there­fore, only two clubs. If East dis­cards a spade, dummy’s ten is good and if East dis­cards a club, both de­fend­ers now have only two clubs and so both queens of clubs will drop! Well played!

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