A match­point fight for an ex­tra trick

The Signal - - CLASSIFIEDS / WEATHER - By Phillip Alder

In a du­pli­cate pairs event, all of your re­sults are com­pared with those of the other pairs sit­ting in your di­rec­tion, North-South or EastWest. You get one point for each other pair you outscore, and half a point for a tie. So, try­ing to win as many tricks as pos­si­ble is vi­tal.

In to­day’s Danny Klein­man deal, how should South play in two hearts af­ter West leads the club queen? What do you think might hap­pen at other ta­bles?

Nowa­days, most Souths will open one no-trump, to avoid a po­ten­tial re­bid prob­lem, and play there. Pre­sum­ably West will lead the club queen. South has eight top tricks: one spade, five hearts and two clubs. A bold player, hoping that West has the di­a­mond 10, might win the first trick with the club king and im­me­di­ately play a di­a­mond to his queen. Here, that should not work un­less West ig­nores his part­ner’s dis­cour­ag­ing club two at trick one and per­se­veres with a sec­ond club. (In no-trump, if South had x-ray vi­sion, he would win the first trick with the club king and lead specif­i­cally the di­a­mond nine. The curious may work it out.)

In two hearts, you can gain a ninth trick by ruff­ing a club on the board. Win the first trick with dummy’s king (the honor from the shorter side first), cash the heart king, play a heart to your ace, take the club ace and ruff the club 10. Then re­turn to hand with a spade and draw the last trump to gain that over­trick.

Plus 140 will prob­a­bly be just over av­er­age. Plus 110 would be a dis­as­ter, los­ing to all of the pairs who are plus 120 in one no-trump. Fi­nally, any­one who scores 150 in no-trump will get a top.

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