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

Some­times the op­po­nents don’t bid like you, in­deed, some­times they bid badly but you have got to sur­vive their bid­ding and card play! West opened a Pre­ci­sion 2C show­ing 11- 15 hcp and 5+ clubs with the added pro­viso that if there isn’t a four card ma­jor, there will be a sixth club. North ei­ther didn’t have a two suited bid ( 3C for the ma­jors springs to mind) or just wanted to take up as much space as pos­si­ble and get part­ner off to the best lead with the 3H bid. With lit­tle space left, East tried a take out dou­ble and West, with no op­tions, bid 3NT. To his sur­prise, North opened with the spade four. This is clearly from length and, to­gether with the 3H bid, leaves North with very few cards in the mi­nors. West beats the 6S with the ace and looks to the mi­nors. There ap­pears to be plenty of tricks but there is a prob­lem due to lack of en­tries to the West hand. There may also be a prob­lem when South clears the spades af­ter a los­ing mi­nor suit fi­nesse. How would you pro­ceed?

The sim­plest ap­proach is to lead a small club to the QC at trick two, fol­lowed by fi­ness­ing the club jack. While the KC is very likely to be on­side, this line does de­pend on the clubs be­ing 3- 2 and needs to fall back on the di­a­mond fi­nesse when they are not. A bet­ter line is to play a small di­a­mond to the ten and queen. South will re­turn a ma­jor suit and you can try run­ning the QC af­ter win­ning the KS. The queen will be cov­ered by the king, to try to block the suit, but you can win the ace, cross back to the 10C and then back to hand with the JD to en­joy the clubs and then the di­a­monds as well. This is much bet­ter than the pre­vi­ous line.

Now imag­ine you are de­fend­ing. Can you beat the se­cond de­clarer line? The se­cond line pro­vides a re- en­try to the West hand as well as, less ob­vi­ously, a late en­try to dummy. South should duck when the 10D is fi­nessed and take the QD when de­clarer leads small to the jack. Now, de­clarer can never un­ravel the nine tricks!

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