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

This hand is from the ITC event held in Bris­bane. South opened a weak 2S and was feel­ing happy un­til North emerged from a hud­dle with 6S. West led the HA, giv­ing the HK its value again but a mi­nor suit king would have been much more agree­able! Still, the 3H over­call with a suit headed by the AQ will prob­a­bly have both mi­nor suit kings and so it will just be a mat­ter of or­gan­is­ing to take both fi­nesses. Hav­ing thought about it, you play small from both hands and West shot­guns the C3 onto the ta­ble.

Time for a side track into zen! One must not try too hard to judge the speed or slow­ness of a play. It is a mat­ter of sit­ting qui­etly at the ta­ble and let­ting re­al­ity re­flect off you. Then you might re­ally see what is hap­pen­ing! Any­way you have spot­ted the very fast C3, grasshop­per, but what are you go­ing to do now?

Usu­ally, a good de­fender will force you to make a de­ci­sion about a fi­nesse at trick two when it is on­side so it looks like the CK is on­side. West didn’t have to con­sider this as he might if he had both kings so the DK is off­side. Easy game this but only if you can find the play now!

Af­ter the 3H over­call, West is less like to hold club length so the plan is to squeeze East out of ei­ther the DK or the long club. So, fi­nesse the CQ and cash the king and jack of spades. Un­block the DA and run the trumps and on the HK East is in trou­ble.

If he dis­cards the DK, the D10 be­comes the twelfth trick. If he dis­cards a club, then, af­ter a sec­ond club fi­nesse and the CA, the C5 will be good. A beau­ti­ful in­fer­en­tial squeeze!

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