Join Bridge Winners
A Different World, Part 2
(Page of 6)

Last week, I recounted my team's experiences that led us to finish 3rd in theUSBF Team Trials Round Robin. This week is about our Round of 16match with the formidable DIAMOND team.

Rather than give a blow-by-blow approach covering hands that have already beencommented on, I want to focus on unusual actions taken by the players in thismatch that show how playing in this event can be like playing "in a differentworld". Here are some situations faced by the players in the match -- thinkabout what you would do, and click NEXT to then see what the player did.

In the first segment, Eric Greco faced this opening lead problem as West:

West
73
J3
8654
K8643
W
N
E
S
1
P
1NT
2
P
3
4
P
4
P
P
X
P
P
P

1NT was semi-forcing, but your partner overcalled 2 over it and then doubled 4. What would you lead?

Greco knew his partner had primary clubs and secondary spades (from theopponent's failure to find a spade fit). If his partner was doubling 4,perhaps he should lead a diamond for a ruff. He led the 4, to show a potential re-entry in clubs. The full hand:

West
73
J3
8654
K8643
North
K4
Q10987
AQ932
10
East
AJ98
K64
7
AQ975
South
Q10652
A52
KJ10
J2
W
N
E
S
 
1
P
1N
2
P
3
4
P
4
P
P
X
P
P
P
D
4X South
NS: 0 EW: 0
4
Q
7
10
1
1
0
Q
K
A
3
3
2
0
2
J
7
4
0
2
1
5
2
6
K
2
2
2
A
9 tricks claimed
N/S -100
5

After the diamond lead, the defense could not be prevented from taking atrump, a diamond ruff, and two black aces. Note that any other suit leadwould allow declarer to prevail (on a club lead and diamond switch, declarercan play ace and another to prevent West from getting in.) Also note the nice double by Greco's partnerto set up the winning defense. Greco's teammates stopped in 1NT, making just 1, so the diamond lead swung16 IMPs (from lose 11 to win 5).

The next segment saw this hand come up:

West
42
64
Q10632
J763
W
N
E
S
1
1
?

1 was Precision, showing 11-15, no 5-card major, and at least 2 diamonds. 3 by you now would show both minors. What call would you make?

Most people would bid 3 to show both minors, or pass. However, GeoffHampson took advantage of the vulnerability and psyched a natural 1NT! AfterLHO raised to 2, RHO believed the bidding and passed, figuring that gamewasn't likely. Another 11 IMPs to the DIAMOND team when the other table had notrouble reaching game opposite a more prosaic auction.

My team was not ready to roll over and play dead, though.Check out this 6 hand declared at both tables (bidding not preserved forposterity, but opponents were silent throughout):

West
North
A7
A74
A875
AQ52
East
South
Q9
KQJ10653
K
943
W
N
E
S
6
P
P
P
D
6 South
NS: 0 EW: 0
10
1

How would you play 6 on the lead of the 10?


You have 11 top tricks (7 hearts, 1 spade, 2 diamonds, and 1 club) so eitherthe club finesse or clubs 3-3 should see you home. The DIAMONDdeclarer took the finesse, and when it lost, back came a club, ruffed, and theslam was quickly down 1. However, my teammate, Jason Feldman, saw that itwasn't necessary to risk the club finesse at trick 1. He played asfollows (click NEXT in the diagram below to follow the play)

West
1085432
92
10932
10
North
A7
A74
A875
AQ52
East
KJ6
8
QJ64
KJ876
South
Q9
KQJ10653
K
943
W
N
E
S
6
P
P
P
D
6 South
NS: 0 EW: 0
10
A
6
3
1
1
0
5
4
K
2
3
2
0
K
2
4
8
3
3
0
Q
9
A
7
1
4
0
A
6
4
3
1
5
0
8
J
6
9
3
6
0
3
2
7
6
1
7
0
7
Q
10
10
3
8
0
9
8
12 tricks claimed
N/S +980
9

He won the A and unblocked the K. Then he drew trumps in 2 roundsending in dummy (RHO pitching a club), cashed the A pitching a club, andruffed a diamond. He then entered the board with the 7 and ruffed the lastdiamond, eliminating diamonds when they broke 4-4. Now he led a club. If LHO had the king, the queen could still set up for his 12th trick...but when LHO showed out, Jason ducked and East was endplayed into giving away the 12th trick. This hand brought our team 17 badly needed IMPs, and we ended the first day down by just 32.


The next day,Kevin Bathurst held this hand:

West
AQ
KJ752
K83
A65
W
N
E
S
1
1NT
X
XX
P
2
P
2
P
P
X
P
2
P
3
P
3NT
P
P
P

He heard his RHO open 1, and he overcalled 1NT. LHO doubled for penalty,and partner redoubled for rescue (1-suiter). He bid 2 (forced), and partnerbid 2 (showing a 1-suiter in diamonds). He passed and LHO reopened with atakeout double. Then the opponents bid to 3NT, RHO showing heart lengthand a diamond stopper along the way.

What's your lead?


Bathurst led the K! The full deal:

West
AQ
KJ752
K83
A65
North
J64
A10
62
KQJ1032
East
732
643
109754
84
South
K10985
Q98
AQJ
97
W
N
E
S
 
1
1N
X
XX
P
2
P
2
P
P
X
P
2
P
3
P
3N
P
P
P
D
11
3NT South
NS: 0 EW: 0
K
A
6
8
1
1
0
K
4
7
6
1
2
0
Q
8
9
A
0
2
1
J
10
4
Q
3
3
1
5
Q
4
3
0
3
2
5
2
3
9
3
4
2
8
A
8 tricks claimed
N/S -50
7

The K was the only lead to give declarer problems, as it knockedout the only sure entry to the clubs before the suit was established.Declarer won the ace and led a club, ducked. Now he can come home byswitching to spades -- with the AQ doubleton, West cannot hold up,and declarer can eventually run spades to execute a strip-squeeze and endplayWest. Note that precisely AQ doubleton is required for this switch to work. With AQx, West can duck to kill the J as an entry to the board, andon winning the second round of spades, cash the A to avoid the strip andendplay. However, declarer, not seeing the fortuitous spade position,continued with another club, hoping for 4-4 hearts. When hearts were 5-3, thedefense had 5 tricks -- down 1. At the other table, Bathurst's teammatesstopped in 2, making 3, so his brilliant lead swung 11 IMPs.

Finally, near the end of the match, you have a chance to bring home anotherslam:

West
North
J2
J5
A8
AQ98654
East
South
AQ97643
A107
5
K2
W
N
E
S
 
1
2
3
3
3
P
4
P
4N
P
5
X
6
P
P
P
D
6 South
NS: 0 EW: 0
4
5
Q
A
3
1
0
1

Unfortunately your keycard auction allows the opponents to get in alead-directing double for the only suit to give the declarer problems (onnormal breaks). How do you play the trumps?


Declarer reasoned that East must hold the KQ for his lead-directing double,so that left West with precious little high-card strength for his 2overcall. Backing his judgement, he laid down the A...

West
10
8643
KQJ1072
J3
North
J2
J5
A8
AQ98654
East
K85
KQ92
9643
107
South
AQ97643
A107
5
K2
W
N
E
S
 
1
2
3
3
3
P
4
P
4N
P
5
X
6
P
P
P
D
6 South
NS: 0 EW: 0
4
5
Q
A
3
1
0
A
10
2
5
3
2
0
3
2
11 tricks claimed
N/S -100
3

Alas, West (Brad Moss) had overcalled 2 on not much besides a nice suit.With Moss holding singleton ten, the "normal" play of crossing to dummy tolead the J for a finesse would have worked. Amusingly, my partner JoAnna Stansby at theother table also overcalled 2 on the West cards, so it looks like 2 was the "standard" bid onthis hand. But when the other table stopped in 4, 26 IMPs swung to DIAMONDbased on the play of the trumps in 6.

The final score was DIAMOND by 68, but we had our chances. There werea lot more swing hands than the ones discussed above, but I selected these tohighlight how difficult playing against the best can be. It was a pleasure toplay against such imaginative and creative players. Thanks to everyone in theBridge Winners community who voted to put us on Vugraph for 3 of the 4 viewingperiods. We plan to do better in the future!

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