The Oldie - - CONTENTS - Andrew Robson

Have you ex­pe­ri­enced an ex­pert de­clarer play a hand so ac­cu­rately against you that you were left won­der­ing whether you had held your hand too low and they had peeked? This month’s de­clarer’s eyes were firmly fixed on his own cards – he used pure logic to suc­ceed.

West led ♦ K and de­clarer won ♦ A then as­sessed his prospects. The slam seemed to de­pend en­tirely on trumps split­ting 2-2. He cashed ♠ A and crossed to ♠ K with fin­gers firmly crossed. West dis­card­ing ( ♥ 2) on the sec­ond round was a ma­jor blow. Was there any way to avoid los­ing ♥ A in ad­di­tion to East’s ♠ Q?

The only pos­si­bil­ity was to dis­card all dummy’s hearts on his clubs be­fore East could trump. For this plan to work, East needed to fol­low to four rounds of clubs. As­sum­ing – as he had to – that East held four clubs to West’s two, ♣ J would be twice as likely to be with East.

At trick four, de­clarer led ♣ 5 from dummy and fi­nessed ♣ 10 (key play). When ♣ 10 won, he cashed ♣ A K Q, dis­card­ing two hearts from dummy. He then led the mas­ter ♣ 2 dis­card­ing dummy’s last heart. East trumped with ♠ Q but it was too late. He led a sec­ond di­a­mond but de­clarer ruffed, then ruffed ♥ K with dummy’s last trump. He tabled his last four cards, all trumps, and that was slam made, mak­ing West wish he’d ig­nored his di­a­mond se­quence and di­vined to lead a heart at trick one. ANDREW ROBSON

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