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JUST BRIDGE...


TWO FORMS OF PAIN

 

by Beverly Kraft -Eric Kokish

 
 We're going to tell you two stories about today's deal, played in a team event with duplicated boards. 6
is an excellent contract on any lead but a club and a respectable one even in that scenario. At both our featured tables, West found the challenging club lead against South's slam. Cover the East-West hands and play along with our declarers.

 

Both sides vulnerable
North deals

  9 7
10 9 8 2
K J 9 6

A K 3

   
  A K Q J 6 5 3
A Q 7

Q 4
5

 

West North East South
  1 Pass 2
Pass 2NT Pass 3
Pass 4(1) Pass 4NT
Pass 5(2) Pass 6
Pass Pass Pass  



(1)
A, some interest in 6
(2) One ace


Opening Lead: Q

 Vancouver's Laurence Betts won the A (ten from East) and ran all his trumps. East discarded a low diamond, all but two clubs, and finally a second diamond. That last was a trifle late for West, who discarded two clubs and three low hearts in order to keep his "protection" in diamonds. Declarer led the
Q and was at the crossroads when West followed low. If the K were onside the winning play would be to overtake the Q with the king to force entry to dummy. Declarer would throw a heart on the K and finish by taking the heart finesse.

 If the K were offside, however, it was more complex. Despite the defenders' smokescreen (or possibly because of it) declarer read the hand perfectly. First, he did not overtake the Q. East had to duck to keep declarer out of dummy, but now declarer cashed the A, extracting East's exit card (which is why this form of play has been called "the Dentist's Coup") and led his remaining diamond. East won the ace but he was out of hearts and so had to play a club, giving dummy the rest. Beautifully played.

 At another table, a mercifully nameless West defender, deeply "into the hand," followed to the first trump lead with the ten, trying to look like a man with the queen-ten doubleton. Declarer, undeceivable in the trump suit, eyed this with suspicion, but eventually took his new winning option by knocking out the A, winning the heart switch with the ace, and entering dummy with the 9 to discard two hearts on minor suit winners. West turned a dark shade of red.

 

The four hands were:

  9 7
10 9 8 2
K J 9 6

A K 3

10 4
K J 6 5 3
10 7 2
Q J 7
8 2
4
A 8 5 3
10 9 8 6 4 2
  A K Q J 6 5 3
A Q 7

Q 4
5