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Monaco vs. USA2
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The Monaco-USA2 match was one of the most exciting 16-board matches I have ever seen. A total of 115 IMPs exchanged hands. See how you would have done on some of the critical decisions.

E-W vul, South deals. As West, you hold:

West
Q754
KQJ
76
AK102
W
N
E
S
3
X
5
P
P
X
P
P
P

Your lead?

West
Q754
KQJ
76
AK102
North
J63
A97
QJ
Q963
East
AK982
10852
532
75
South
10
643
AK10984
J84
W
N
E
S
3
X
5
P
P
X
P
P
P
D
5X South
NS: 0 EW: 0

West led a trump, getting only 500 vs. 620 at the other table. On a high club lead the defense can get 800 if North is up to underleading his AK of spades after ruffing the third round of clubs, so South can lead another club and kill dummy's club discard.

 

Both vul, East deals. As North, you hold:

North
K86
9
AKQ9832
AJ
W
N
E
S
P
1
P
2
P
2
P
2
P
3
P
4NT
P
5
P
?

Your call?

North
K86
9
AKQ9832
AJ
W
N
E
S
P
1
P
2
P
2
P
2
P
3
P
4NT
P
5
P
6
P
6
?

Let's say you try 6. Partner bids 6. Now what?

West
Q9
10873
J10
10543
North
K86
9
AKQ9832
AJ
East
74
KJ65
654
Q9872
South
AJ10532
AQ42
7
K6
W
N
E
S
 
P
1
P
2
P
2
P
2
P
3
P
4N
P
5
P
6
P
6
P
?
D

North chose to pass.

As can be seen, 7 depends solely on the spade pickup. 7 needs a 3-2 diamond split, along with another trick from spades or hearts. 7NT by South is best, as this has the same chances as 7 plus can survive a bad diamond split if spades and hearts behave.

At the other table, 7 was reached. The best opening lead of a heart was found, eliminating one of declarer's options.Had declarer chosen to play East for the potentially long spades he might have gone wrong, judging the king of hearts to be with West. However, he chose to play as a squeeze, making when the spades were 2-2 or the player with the king of hearts had 3 spades.

 

N-S vul, South deals. As South, you hold:

South
AQ106
A1085