Both the English open team and the English Women lost in the quarter final of the World Bridge Games in Wroclaw, Poland, but the Scottish Women did fabulously, reaching the semi-final.
Watch Dorset’s heather Dhondy find a way to garner the ninth trick in this three Notrumps against Mexico. (1) What’s a point between friends? (2) Where there’s eight (tricks), there’s nine.
If West woodenly led a Spade, declarer (Mrs Dhondy) could secure her ninth trick by playing low in dummy, thus making a second Spade trick regardless of the location of the King and Knave. however, West brightly tried the sneak attack of a Diamond, to the ten and declarer’s Ace. Where is that ninth trick coming from now?
Declarer cashed three rounds of Clubs, throwing a heart from dummy, but sensibly held back her three remaining Clubs, as she didn’t want to squeeze dummy. Instead, she exited with her second Diamond.
the defence did the best they could, West winning cheaply as declarer withheld dummy’s Knave. West switched to the Knave of hearts (best) to the King and Ace. East cashed the Queen of hearts, then led the Queen of Diamonds.
If West let the Queen win, then East would be endplayed to lead a Spade from her King round to dummy’s Queen or a heart to dummy’s winners. thus, West overtook the Queen with the King (declarer throwing her low Spade) and switched to a Spade, hoping East held the ten as well as the King.
Declarer played low from dummy, knowing from the bidding that East had to have the King (and hoping West held the Knave). East tried the nine, but declarer scooped up the trick with her ten and was soon claiming nine tricks. Very elegantly done.
our second Wroclaw deal was an iffy Six Notrumps from the 17th and last match of the round robin (before the top 16 teams would contest the knockout stages). (1) Quantitative notrump slam invite, in which both pass (there can’t quite be 33 points facing 17–18) and Four Diamonds (showing the five-five shape) are reasonable (preferable?) alternatives.
West led the ten of Clubs to East’s Queen and declarer’s Ace. At one table, declarer led a Diamond to the nine at trick two. East won the Knave and found the devilish return of the three of hearts, wanting to make declarer have to decide whether or not to finesse before he knew whether Spades broke.
Eventually, declarer rose with the Ace, hoping the Knave of Spades would drop. he led and passed the Queen of Diamonds, crossed to the King of Clubs, back to the King-queen of Spades (discovering the lousy split), cashed the Ace of Clubs, back to the Ace-tensmall of Diamonds and Ace of Spades, but had to concede the last trick, dummy’s ten of Spades losing to East’s Knave. Down one.
the other declarer took the small step of cashing the King of Spades at trick two (key play). When he saw West discard, he knew he needed a second heart trick, so, when he led a Diamond to the nine and Knave and East returned that cunning three of hearts, he played low.
he could now finesse against the King of Diamonds, untangle his winners and claim his slam.