Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - NORTHWEST/TELEVISION - bob­by­wolff@mind­

It is al­ways hard to re­tain con­cen­tra­tion when it comes to the very fi­nal deal of a match where you are eager to rush out and score up. How­ever, Ulf Nils­son, play­ing with Drew Can­nell in the Spin­gold last sum­mer, pro­vided this deal, the last board in the Eric Leong team’s up­set win over the Rose Meltzer squad. Nils­son worked out the per­cent­ages, but de­cided to fol­low his own path.

In the auc­tion shown, Can­nell’s four­club call was a se­ri­ous slam try (he had al­ready limited his hand to 13 HCP, so he had a max­i­mum with great con­trols). That let Nils­son drive to slam.

He won the club lead, ruffed a club, drew trumps in one round, ruffed a club and led a sec­ond trump.

West dis­carded a spade, and East a di­a­mond.

Then came the third club ruff, at which point Nils­son found they were 4-4.

When he led the di­a­mond jack to­ward dummy’s king, West played a high spot card to sug­gest an odd num­ber in that suit.

At this point, af­ter cash­ing the di­a­mond ace, the per­cent­age play in spades in ab­stract is to lead to the queen and back to the 10. But Nils­son could sen­si­bly re­con­struct the West hand to be 5=1=3=4.

If East had only two spades, Nils­son could ig­nore the per­cent­ages and play the spade ace and an­other spade. He could put up the queen, not car­ing whether it would win or lose, since East would be end­played if he won.

At the other ta­ble, de­clarer fol­lowed the 75 per­cent line in spades and went down.

AN­SWER: I would not dou­ble one spade, de­spite hav­ing de­cent val­ues and the un­bid ma­jor, since the risk part­ner will bid di­a­monds is too high. If the club open­ing were short, I’d think more about the pos­si­bil­ity — but even so, I be­lieve a pass is more dis­creet.

If you would like to con­tact Bobby Wolff, email him at


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