Drawing the Correct Inferences

//Drawing the Correct Inferences

Here’s a hand submitted by Beltan Tonuk playing with his partner Burak.

Dlr: East   Vul: N-S

North
S K Q 9 2
H Q 10 8 4
D A 9 6 2
C A
West
S 10 8 6 5
H 3
D 8 7 4
C 10 9 7 4 2
East
S A
H J 9 6
D Q J 5
C K Q J 8 6 3
South
S J 7 4 3
H A K 7 5 2
D K 10 3
C 5

 

WestNorthEastSouth
1C1H
5C5H5CPass
Pass6HDblAll Pass

After a one-level overcall, Beltan found the bidding at the slam level on his second turn. Since his side was vulnerable, he knew his partner’s 5Hwas a bid to make. He also knew his pass would be forcing. Holding a singleton club, trumps headed by the AK and a diamond control, he chose to pass and let his partner choose to double or bid 6H. His partner bid 6H, which East doubled.

After the lead of the C10, things were not that bright. After winning with dummy’s ace, he played the HQ to cover the possibility that RHO had all four trumps. He drew trumps in three rounds and played a spade to the king. RHO won with the ace and switched to the DJ.

Well, normally he would return a passive spade and Beltan would have to rely on a 2-2 diamond break to make his contract. But the DJ play was suspicious. Beltan was wondering why East didn’t play a spade. He realized that the SA must have been a singleton. So he played East for a 6331 shape with the DQJx.

Beltan won the DJ with dummy’s ace and came back to his hand with the SJ. He was happy to see that East’s SA really had been a singleton. He finessed to the H10 and then took the diamond finesse. That was worth 13.60 IMPs.


On our second deal, sent to us by Murat Molva, North and South were very aggressive. They climbed all the way to a grand slam in clubs. With the bad club break, it looks as if the grand slam will go down, but the Turkish declarer, Alpay Ozalp, found the route to 13 tricks.

Dlr: North   Vul: E-W

North
S 10 9 6
H Q 7 6 4 3
D K J 7 5
C 4
West
S A 7 2
H A J 10 2
D 6
C K Q 8 7 6
East
S K J 5 3
H 5
D A Q 8 4 2
C A 9 3
South
S Q 8 4
H K 9 8
D 10 9 3
C J 10 5 2

 

WestNorthEastSouth
Pass2DPass
2CPass2SPass
3HDbl4CPass
4NTPass5HDbl
7CAll pass

Some people lead a trump against any grand slam. Others, afraid they may trap partner’s presumed trump queen, look for alternatives. North was a skeptic, so out came the S10. Ozalp realized immediately that he probably was facing a 4-1 trump break because North didn’t lead a trump. He also realized that his only hope was for a successful diamond finesse and a subsequent crossruff.

After the lead was covered by the jack and queen, declarer took his ace and took the diamond finesse. It worked! He had a chance!

He discarded a spade on the DA and ruffed a diamond. He crossed to dummy with the SK, came back to hand with the HA, and ruffed a heart with dummy’s small trump. South craftily dropped the SK on this trick, but declarer continued his crossruff. What else could he do? Next he ruffed a spade and trumped another heart, leaving this position:

North
S —
H Q 7
D J
C 4
West
S —
H J
D —
C K Q 8
East
S J
H —
D 8 4
C A
South
S —
H —
D —
C J 10 5 2

South still had all his trumps, but it did him no good. Declarer led a diamond from dummy, and South put in the CJ. Declarer overruffed and trumped his last heart with the CA. When he then led the SJ, South was finished. Making 7C.

If North had led his singleton trump, declarer never would have had a chance.

About the Author:

Harold Schogger has just celebrated 40 years of bridge teaching. He opened his bridge club in Hendon London in 1983. Since 1997 he has devoted his time to teaching and directing.He holds the Professional Teachers’ Diploma from the English Bridge Union, and now trains teachers for the EBU. He is also a member of the International Bridge Press Association. Harold is the author of Practice Your Rule of 11 and the ebook Bridge for Winners.Harold has been an OKbridge member since 1997. You can see his valuable blog posts here under the category Bridge Hand Review. Harold is also a Premier Life Master.

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