Wroclaw (pronounced Vrotswaf) was the venue for last September’s Mind Sports Games. The bridge of partner Tony Forrester and I was mostly fairly competent, although we did go for three absurd 1,100 penalties.
Here are two interesting Five Club contracts, the first from England v Bosnia Herzegovina.
Declarer won West’s opening Spade lead with dummy’s ace and led a Club to the Queen, the finesse succeeding. He now sought to do something with dummy’s Hearts, cashing the ace, crossing to the King and ruffing a third Heart, pleased to see the even split.
Declarer had a strong feeling East held the three remaining trumps—because of his trance over Five Clubs. He continued on that basis. at trick six, he advanced the Queen of Diamonds. West naturally covered with the King (although, in fact, if he plays low, the contract is defeated, as declarer is robbed of a second Diamond entry to dummy). Winning dummy’s ace, declarer led a winning Heart.
East had to ruff this Heart or declarer would shed his losing Spade. Declarer discarded the Spade anyway. He ruffed East’s Spade return and led a Diamond towards dummy’s ten. West rose with the Knave and led a third Spade, but declarer ruffed in hand, crossed to the ten of Diamonds, led a Club to the Knave and enjoyed the last trick with his ace, beating East’s King. Game made.
our second Five Clubs—from England v argentina—was doubled and made with just 17 high-card points between the partnership.
West led a Heart, South ruffing and leading up a Club. West, bitterly disappointed to see the King in dummy, won the ace and continued with a second Heart (as good as anything). Declarer ruffed and crossed to the (Queen and) King of Clubs, East throwing a Spade.
Declarer could count 10 winners —seven Clubs (making his remaining four separately), ace-king of Spades and ace of Diamonds. He needed West to hold the King of Diamonds (probable given his Diamond bid). He crossed to the King of Spades and led a low Diamond towards the Queen.
West rose with the King of Diamonds and forlornly led a second Diamond. Declarer won dummy’s Queen, crossed to his ace of Spades and claimed the remainder on a crossruff. Game made.
‘Sorry partner,’ said East. ‘I contributed not one defensive trick for my opening bid.’
(1) False preference, the best move at this stage on grounds of economy. (2) asking for a Spade bolster opposite. North wisely decided that ace-small is an insufficient stopper for three Notrumps. Wisely so— at many tables, the contract was three Notrumps, which had no chance on a Spade lead when neither Clubs nor Hearts cooperated. (3) East gave away a tell-tale moment of reflection, clearly considering a double. Big mistake.
(1) Lousy suit, but catch a Club fit and South’s hand is very powerful. (2) the key bid. Rather than content himself with three Clubs, North jumps to Four Clubs to show his good four-card support in a hand that would rather declare than defend. (3) Buoyed by the void and the tenth trump. (4) Wouldn’t we all? Naturally, West expects his ace-queen of Clubs to score two tricks over South’s likely King.