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Excitement from the Nickell-Levine Spingold match, round of 32

There were some very exciting hands in the final quarter of the match between Nickell and Levine in the round of 32 and the score was practically tied much of the way. One featured Meckstroth playing in 3NT...

Please wait for the hands to load (the next buttons will not work until all hands are there) ....

Gerstman
953
AJ95
A432
J6
Rodwell
Q82
873
987
9842
Landen
J1076
K1062
105
Q107
Meckstroth
AK4
Q4
KQJ6
AK53
W
N
E
S
P
P
P
1
P
1
P
2NT
P
3NT
P
P
P
D
52
3NT South
NS: 0 EW: 0
2
7
10
Q
3
1
0
K
3
8
5
3
2
0
6
A
9
7
0
2
1
4
2
6
J
3
3
1
K
5
2
10
3
4
1
A
3
8
J
3
5
1
4
9
Q
2
1
6
1
8
6
Q
A
0
6
2
J
4
7
3
0
6
3
9

The 1 opener was strong, 1 was negative, and 2NT showed around 23-24 (awaiting comment corrections on the range). You are West and your lead has not worked out well. Your carding is "Upside down count and attitude signals, standard suit preference, upside down current count when we give it ...in notrump, we play Reverse Smith: L-H in declarer’s first suit encourages the suit lead."  Click the next button and play along. ... Now what? [answer at the end]

In the meantime, how would your system handle this hand? Can you get to 6 or better yet the cold grand? A strong club relay system would do the job.

Gerstman
KJ1072
8
875
A972
Rodwell
85
QJ975
Q32
1086
Landen
AQ963
A64
A9
KQJ
Meckstroth
4
K1032
KJ1064
543
W
N
E
S
2NT
P
3
P
4
P
5
P
6
P
P
P
D
54
6 East
NS: 0 EW: 0
3
2
13 tricks claimed
E/W +1460
1

Zia and Hamman had the same auction up to the 4 bid but then came a pass.

Finally along came this last chance for the Levine team to beat Nickell:

Hamman
10765
105
QJ764
J2
J Clerkin
2
AK942
AK9
KQ87
Zia
AKJ9843
J73
963
D Clerkin
Q
Q86
108532
A1054
W
N
E
S
 
1
3
X
4
X
P
4N
P
5N
P
6
P
6
P
P
P
D
61
6 North
NS: 0 EW: 0
A
Q
5
2
2
0
1
9
2

Click the next button then plan the play. Your teammates got to play 5 doubled so if you can make this, you win the match.

Okay back to the first hand. Did you fall for Meckstroth's Zia-esque move? The full hand is:

Gerstman
953
AJ95
A432
J6
Rodwell
Q82
873
987
9842
Landen
J1076
K1062
105
Q107
Meckstroth
AK4
Q4
KQJ6
AK53
W
N
E
S
P
P
P
1
P
1
P
2NT
P
3NT
P
P
P
D
52
3NT South
NS: 0 EW: 0
2
7
10
Q
3
1
0
K
3
8
5
3
2
0
6
A
9
7
0
2
1
4
2
6
J
3
3
1
K
5
2
10
3
4
1
A
3
8
J
3
5
1
4
9
Q
2
1
6
1
8
6
Q
A
0
6
2
J
4
7
3
0
6
3
6
9 tricks claimed
N/S +600
10

And did you make 6?

Hamman
10765
105
QJ764
J2
J Clerkin
2
AK942
AK9
KQ87
Zia
AKJ9843
J73
963
D Clerkin
Q
Q86
108532
A1054
W
N
E
S
 
1
3
X
4
X
P
4N
P
5N
P
6
P
6
P
P
P
D
61
6 North
NS: 0 EW: 0
A
Q
5
2
2
0
1
9
10
J
K
1
1
1
A
3
6
5
1
2
1
4
7
Q
10
3
3
1
2
4
9
J
2
3
2
11 tricks claimed
N/S -100
5

Is the double hook in diamonds better odds than a stiff honor? Yes. There are more small singletons than honor singletons if the diamonds are divided 4-1 plus other distributions with the QJ onsides will work. After 3 rounds of trump ending in dummy you know East started with 3s, probably 7 and at least 1. Vulnerable, West raised to game on presumably 4 trumps and the J and two s so he may well have all five diamonds or QJxx. However be sure to keep two entries to dummy or West can just split those honors. Declarer removed one entry by covering the 9 with the 10 but this removed any possible club loser so seemed sensible. Then after the A failed to get any dropping honors to let him pick up a 4-1 split perhaps he should have cashed the K before going to the Q to double hook that diamond suit... oops the finesse worked but Zia ruffed!

 

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