The Dutch and Deutsche Senior teams played a practice match yesterday and today. Two play hands caught my eye, and I offer them to you. Both had quite a few IMPs at stake, as they occurred at the "anchor" table. The format was three tables in play with the Dutch N-S at one and E-W at the other two.
East led the ♥5 - ♥3-♥10-♥K. How would you plan the play?
Watching, and trying to be honest, I thought it would be right just to lead trumps and hope they are not 4-1. If there is a heart ruff, there is not much I can do about it - and it is unlikely since West really can't have ♥J1087. The alternative, I thought, was to cross to dummy and lead a spade to the K, hoping to play two quick trumps and forestall any ruffs. Or to take out East's entry if West had three trumps and a doubleton heart.
The whole hand:
Declarer actually crossed to dummy to pass the ♠J to East's ♠Q. East played back his second club, collected his club ruff when West won the ♠A and cashed the ♦A for one down. The German pair on Vugraph scored 170 after a forcing NT auction died in 2♠. So going down cost the Dutch 22 or 24 IMPs depending on the result at the third table.
The second featured board was the last board played at the table I was watching. Here is the hand:
During the auction I commented that on the lie of the cards 6♥ is cold, and that with North showing minors, declarer should make it. This got many disbelieving and several insulting comments from the audience. My puzzle for you is how should declarer play on the actual lead of the ♣2, and how should he play if the lead is the ♠Q?
Declarer in fact went down, costing his team at least 43 imps, and possibly 52.
Plus... it's free!