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Board 28
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Look at this board, from the Quarterfinals:

 

West
10754
AJ93
10
K1075
North
83
Q642
42
J8642
East
AJ92
K87
AJ96
Q3
South
KQ6
105
KQ8753
A9
W
N
E
S
P
P
1NT
P
2
P
2
P
4
P
P
P
D
4 East
NS: 0 EW: 0

 

South always started diamonds.  The typical start was diamond king, to the ace, diamond jack, covered, ruffed.  At some point, another diamond was played, and West trumped low, getting over-ruffed with the eight, so there were four certain losers.  Two declarers trumped with the ten, and guessed out the hand later.  However, both of these were in the Juster-Rosenthal match, so it was just another push.

Wildavsky, for Juster, played a club to the queen and ace next.  South returned a club, won by the king.  Wildavsky finessed in trumps, ruffed the diamond with the ten, and continued trump ace, trump to South:

West
10754
AJ93
10
K1075
North
83
Q642
42
J8642
East
AJ92
K87
AJ96
Q3
South
KQ6
105
KQ8753
A9
W
N
E
S
P
P
1NT
P
2
P
2
P
4
P
P
P
D
4 East
NS: 0 EW: 0
K
10
4
A
2
0
1
J
Q
4
2
0
0
2
5
4
Q
A
3
1
2
9
K
6
3
0
1
3
5
3
9
K
3
2
3
8
10
6
6
0
2
4
7
8
A
6
2
2
5
J
Q
3
2
3
3
5
8

 

This left South on lead in this ending:

 

West
AJ9
107
North
Q42
J8
East
2
K87
9
South
105
753
D

 

South played a diamond, but East won, and cashed the last trump, discarding a club and a heart, and North was squeezed.

 

South could, of course, break up this squeeze by attacking hearts, but that simply picks up hearts.  There was no defense in this ending.

 

Nicely played!

At the other table, Ginossar opened a 13+-16 one notrump, and West simply invited.  He won the diamond lead, returned the diamond jack, covered and ruffed, and lost a spade to South.  Back came a diamond, which he carefully trumped with dummy's ten.  Suspecting that North was playing a deep game with the other trump honor, he finessed again, won the diamond in hand, and drew the last trump.

 

West
10754
AJ93
10
K1075
North
83
Q642
42
J8642
East
AJ92
K87
AJ96
Q3
South
KQ6
105
KQ8753
A9
W
N
E
S
P
P
1NT
P
2
P
2
P
3
P
4
P
P
P
D
4 East
NS: 0 EW: 0
K
10
4
A
2
0
1
J
Q
4
2
0
0
2
5
3
J
Q
3
1
2
7
10
2
6
0
1
3
7
8
9
K
3
2
3
5
5
4
9
2
2
4
A
6
9
6
2
2
5
7

 

Here was the end position:

West
AJ3
K107
North
Q42
J86
East
2
K87
Q3
South
105
83
A9
D

He led the club queen, to the ace.  A diamond now would squeeze North, but South accurately exited with a club.  He cashed the heart ace, and started thinking.  South certainly had one more heart left, and it had to be the queen or the ten, or there was no hope.  Which?

 

Would South have bid with the heart queen?  No.  Double would have shown a four-card major and longer minor suit, and South could not show long diamonds at the two level.  No clues from the auction.  Thinking.  More thinking.  More thinking.  Still more thought.  Finally he called for the heart jack, and scored up 420.

Well played, and well guessed!

 

Here, though, the defense should have prevailed.  Do you see how?

It is crucial, on defense, to picture the hand from declarer's perspective, to figure out the PLAN.  Look again at that ending - declarer's plan seems pretty clear.  Ginossar had arrived at a position where the contract was cold, so long as North held the club ace, even if every other card was poorly placed.  Let's swap around a few cards and make the ending look like this:

West
AJ3
K107
North
Q104
AJ6
East
2
K87
Q3
South
52
83
98
D

 

On the queen of clubs, what can North do?  If he wins, he is end-played, so North must duck.  But that simply delays the endplay.  Declarer would lead the last trump, discarding a club, and forcing North to discard a club also.  Exit in clubs and done.

 

This was a fine plan, but fated to fail, had South ducked the club queen smoothly. 

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