Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - TODAY'S PICK - with DOU­GLAS NEW­LANDS

When there are five cards miss­ing in a suit, they will split 3-2 two thirds of the time and 4-1 only one quar­ter of the time. How­ever, good play re­quires us to try and over­come the 4-1 splits when we can. If not, it is good to han­dle the 4-1 split at one side even if the other can­not be.

The auc­tion here started with a weak two and South made a take out dou­ble. North’s 3C bid showed 8-11, or so, points since weaker hands would re­spond with a Leben­sohl 2NT. When South shows a strong hand with 3H, the auc­tion is game forc­ing. North has al­ready shown his val­ues and is con­tent to just raise to game. Af­ter a key­card en­quiry, South bids the grand slam even though he can’t see the 13th trick. Maybe he added a king for his good play or for the bad de­fence but play­ers like bid­ding grand slams! West led the S8 (MUD) and South won with the ace. Twelve tricks are in view and it is a ques­tion of whether to play for the clubs to be 3-2 or 1-4. How will you play this? Both vul, Dealer East

Af­ter draw­ing two more rounds of trumps, de­clarer saw that it would cost noth­ing to cash the king and queen of di­a­monds be­fore touch­ing clubs. When East showed out on the se­cond di­a­mond, he was then known to have started with 2-1 in the red suits. As the bid­ding and the lead sug­gested that East did in­deed have ex­actly six spades, he be­gan with a pre­sumed 6=2=1=4 shape. So de­clarer played a club to the ace and a low club back to­wards his hand. When East pro­duced the five of clubs de­clarer played the nine of clubs from hand and thereby made his con­tract. If East had fol­lowed to the se­cond di­a­mond then de­clarer would have known that only West could have had four clubs and would ac­cord­ingly have started the suit by play­ing the king and queen of clubs. This would have brought home four tricks when clubs were 3-2 and also when East had a sin­gle­ton jack or ten of clubs.

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