Bridge

Country Life Every Week - - Crossword | Bridge - An­drew Rob­son

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.

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