New Zealand Listener - - DIVERSIONS - by David Bird

Just for a change, I have cho­sen a fairly gen­tle deal to­day. West leads the 10 of trumps against your small slam in hearts. It is barely pos­si­ble to avoid a di­a­mond loser, so it seems you will need the king of spades to be on­side. How should you plan the play? In par­tic­u­lar, how should you man­age your en­tries to dummy, which are not plen­ti­ful? Win the trump lead with the king and cross to the ace of trumps. You fi­nesse the spade queen, pleased to see the fi­nesse win, and draw the last trump with the queen. What next? If you cross to the ace of di­a­monds to re­peat the spade fi­nesse, you will go down. With a di­a­mond loser ex­posed, you would have to take a suc­cess­ful club fi­nesse to make the slam. In­stead, you should play ace and an­other club, set­ting up a sec­ond club trick for a di­a­mond dis­card. You are then safe on any re­turn. If East re­turns a club, for ex­am­ple, you will win and dis­card your di­a­mond loser. You can then re­peat the spade fi­nesse and ruff your last spade in dummy. South makes a neg­a­tive (take-out) dou­ble of your part­ner’s 2C over­call. What will you say?

You should raise to 3C, even though you hold only two clubs. It is likely that your part­ner has a six-card suit. Any­way, you are keen to take away bid­ding space from the op­po­nents. Awards: 3C – 10, re­dou­ble – 7, 2D – 3.

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