Royal Oak Tribune



The Chinese Premier League is one of the toughest events, with several top players from around the world competing. This year, though, it moved online with no nonresiden­ts.

This deal, originally described by Jerry Li from Beijing, might remind you of yesterday’s. How did the defenders defeat four hearts?

After one no-trump and a transfer bid, Yang Lixin ( West) threw in a dangerous overcall, given that his partner could not open the bidding, North’s strength was unknown, and he rated to be on lead. North doubled, showing values, and if South had passed, he probably would have collected 300 for down two. But South understand­ably went for game in the nine-card heart fit.

The defenders needed to take two spades and two diamonds. Yang did well to lead a trump, not a club away from his queen. Declarer won with dummy’s king, played a trump to his ace and led a low diamond toward the king. How did Yang plan the defense?

Declarer had 15-17 points, dummy held 9, and West had 15. That left at most one jack for East.

The spade jack wouldn’t help, but the diamond jack was a potential entry for a spade shift through declarer’s king. West played his diamond queen. When South won with dummy’s king, East had his entry card. Or, if declarer had ducked in the dummy, West would have continued with the diamond ace and his third diamond to avoid being endplayed.

Here, West could have won the first diamond with his ace and continued with the queen, but not if East had only jackdouble­ton.

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