Optimism Pays Off

 

The following hand was reported to me by Bob Clemens and Lorne Russell.

Dlr: South Vul: None
Scoring: IMPs

North
S A 10 4 3
H K
D A 6 5 3
C Q 5 4 2
West
S Q 7 6
H J 10 6 5
D Q 9 8 7 4
C 9
East
S J 8 5
H 9 8 2
D 10 2
C 10 8 7 6
South
S K 9 2
H A Q 7 4 3
D K J
C A J 3
West North East South
1H
Pass 1S Pass 2NT
Pass 6NT All Pass

North was a bit exuberant with his leap to slam, but only a little. The fact that his heart king was singleton certainly was not a plus. It was quite likely that making 12 tricks would require good breaks and successful finesses.

West led fourth best from his longest and strongest – the diamond 7 – and that gave Arbajudge a chance to display excellent declarer play. He won with the jack and crossed to dummy’s heart king. He took a successful club finesse to the jack and gave up a heart trick, establishing an extra heart trick and rectifying the count simultaneously.

Arbajudge won the diamond return and cashed three hearts. This was the position after he cashed his last heart (on which he unblocked dummy’s spade 10, just in case):

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

When declarer now led his club ace, West had no choice. He had to keep his diamonds so he pitched a spade. Now Arbajudge led a spade to the ace and cashed the diamond ace. Now it was East’s turn to feel the pressure. He had to keep the club king, so he had to release a spade. That did it – declarer took the last two tricks with the king and 9 of spades for a gain of 10.5 IMPs.

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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