Page 0014

you are in better shape than in either of the lines

above. The king of clubs might be doubleton, as

might the jack of spades, or North might be

squeezed in the black suits. The chances of this

are, as by now you will have gathered, also not very

high, but they are higher than the chances in either

of the alternatives.

When this deal arose in the semi-final of the 2015

Bermuda Bowl, England confronted Poland in a

match that had been close all the way. Half-way

through the penultimate stanza of 16 boards, the

English declarer found himself confronted with the

problem as given. He took a club finesse.

The Polish declarer was in 6t at the other table.

He followed the first line above, playing for the

miracle position in spades and diamonds. How did

everyone do?

As you can see, the club finesse failed and the

contract with it. You can also see the miracle

position in spades and diamonds was present - and

the black-suit squeeze line would have worked. A

16 IMP swing to Poland, which in a match that

England eventually lost by single figures was vital.

Why did the Polish declarer adopt a line that was

considerably against the odds? Because at his table

the bidding had been:

Game All. Dealer West.

´ J 8

™ A 9 7 6 5 3

t 10 5

® 8 6 5

´ A K 10 5 4 3 ´ Q

™ K 4 ™ Q 2

t A 7 t K Q J 8 6 3

® J 7 2 ® A Q 9 4

´ 9 7 6 2

™ J 10 8

t 9 4 2

® K 10 3

14 English Bridge February 2016 www.ebu.co.uk

HOW WOULD you play 6t on the two hands

below? My apologies if instead you would have been

in 6NT, but apart from you, it's an imperfect world.

West East

1´ 2t1

2´ 3®

3t 3™2

3NT 4t

4™3 5®3

6t Pass

1Game-forcing; 2Fourth suit forcing; 3Cue bids with

diamonds agreed

South starts with ™10. Using Roman leads this

usually promises the jack. You play low from

dummy, but North wins ™A and returns the suit,

knocking out your late entry to dummy's spades.

One possible line of play is to rely on a miracle

position in spades and diamonds - if one defender

has precisely ´J-x and precisely two diamonds, you

can play a spade to the queen, draw two trumps

ending in dummy, and cash three spades discarding

three clubs. The chances of this are not very high.

Another possibility is to run trumps, intending to

overtake the queen of spades after you have done so.

This will work if someone gets squeezed. You have

only ten top tricks (two spades if you're going to

overtake the queen, one heart, six diamonds and the

club ace), but if an opponent has four low spades

and ®K-10 or ®K-x-x-x, his discard on the last

trump will present you with two extra tricks in the

suit of that discard. The chances of this are also not

very high.

Finally, you can take the club finesse. If this loses

you will of course go down at once, but if it doesn't

´ A K 10 5 4 3 ´ Q

™ K 4 ™ Q 2

t A 7 t K Q J 8 6 3

® J 7 2 ® A Q 9 4

Letting a slam throughby David Burn

Great Bridge Disasters

Great Bridge Disasters

click

link

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Index

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