Wild and Woolly

Here’s a strange deal, submitted by Richard Carter. All four players had a solid suit with no other high cards. As you might expect, the results were wild and woolly.

Dlr: South Vul: None

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

The top result for North-South was four clubs doubled, making five for plus 610. One East-West pair got to six hearts doubled, making for plus 1210. At the remainder of the 11 tables, all contracts were in either diamonds or spades. Three Norths made five diamonds undoubled and one made an overtrick. Five diamonds was doubled once – plus 550.

Of those playing in spades, one made five doubled (plus 650), one went down one undoubled in slam, one went down two doubled in five, and one went one down at game.

Perhaps the most interesting result was the six heart contract, which was worth 16.3 IMPs. North started with the king of diamonds. After any red-suit continuation, West easily makes his slam since he still has an entry to dummy’s spades after drawing trumps. But switching to a spade defeats the slam – declarer can sluff three of his clubs on spades, but that still leaves a losing club.

Do you see how the defense can beat six hearts three tricks? All North has to do is underlead his diamond honors at trick one. After winning with the 10, South can cash three club tricks.

It appeared that Cpping had to hope for a favorable trump position on our next deal, played by Cpping in six hearts. He didn’t get what he wanted, but he still brought home his slam.

Dlr: East Vul: N-S

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

 

West North East South
1H Pass
1S Pass 2H Pass
3D Pass 3NT Pass
4H Pass 6H All Pass

South led a club and it doesn’t look good for declarer. He won, crossed to dummy’s high spades, pitching a club, and ruffed a spade. Next came a diamond to the ace and another spade ruff. After cashing the diamond king and ruffing a diamond, Cpping finessed to the heart jack and cashed the trump ace. Now his trump reduction scheme paid off – he got out with a club and had to win the last two tricks with his king-9 of trumps over North’s queen-8.

An alternative line also will pay off. Win the club ace followed by diamond ace, diamond king, diamond ruff and a trump finesse. Cash the top hearts and finesse the spade jack. North can ruff the third spade, but declarer merely pitches his last club and claims.

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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