THE Swan River Pairs, the premier event on the West Australian bridge calendar, was held on August 22-23; 114 pairs took part. The top three pairs were 1. Nigel Rosendorff — Henry Christie 2. Anton Pol — Andrew Swider 3. Pim Birss — Dave Munro. Rosendorff was returning to his old stamping ground. He has lived in Sydney since the beginning of this year but previously was based in Perth where he carved out a reputation as a great teacher and player.
In both of today’s deals, the winners chalked up slam without any effort, thanks to poor discarding by their opponents. If the defenders had followed the basic defensive principle of keeping length with dummy’s long suit, they would have beaten one of the slams, for sure, and possibly the other.
On deal one, two diamonds showed either a weak two in a major or 20-22 balanced. Two hearts said pass with hearts and two notrumps showed 20-22 high card points. Three clubs was Puppet Stayman and four clubs showed both majors. Four hearts was to play and four spades was a control bid.
West led the six of spades to the bare king in dummy.
There are many ways you might play the hand. Rosendorff decided to cash the two top trumps. He was spared any further problems when West discarded a diamond, handing Rosendorff the whole diamond suit.
That was a poor discard from West, who was looking at North’s fine diamonds. West — pass pass pass pass pass North — 2 2NT 3 4 6 East pass pass pass pass pass all pass South pass 2 3 4 4
Without a diamond discard, Rosendorff might well have gone down.
On deal two, two clubs was strong and three diamonds showed 5-7 HCP with long diamonds. West led the 10 of clubs. Rosendorff was worried that the lead was a singleton so he rose with the ace. But as the cards lie, he can now be defeated.
However, he ran five rounds of diamonds, pitching clubs from dummy, and East made the fatal mistake of not keeping length with dummy’s long suit. He discarded one of his hearts, allowing Rosendorff to ruff out the queen of hearts and establish the nine for the vital 12th trick.
Rosendorff could have made his slam for sure by covering the ten of clubs with the jack at trick one. East can win and exit with the queen of spades but he can now be brought to heel by way of a trump squeeze.
He cannot stop Rosendorff making an extra trick out of hearts or clubs. Paul Marston