Page 0014

14 English Bridge October 2019 www.ebu.co.uk

N/S Game. Dealer South. Teams Scoring

West North East South

2´1

Pass 4´ All Pass

1 Weak, 6-9 points, 5 spades, 4+ minor

Counting declarer's shape

Sleuth's Quiz by Ron Klinger

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YOU ARE PLAYING TEAMS, SITTING WEST

What would you lead as West from:

As there is no attractive lead,

you start by eliminating the

worst leads. A trump is out of

the question. Neither the tA,

nor a club appeals. You might

be leading declarer's second

suit. That leaves a heart lead as the least of evils.

You lead the ™4 and this is what you see:

109, East would have played the t10.

DEast is showing an even number of diamonds.

Clearly that must be four and declarer has two.

Declarer would not be fiddling around in

diamonds if holding four diamonds.

DDeclarer's minor suit will be 4+ clubs.

Do you take the tA?

If you duck the tA, declarer may have began with

a 5-1-2-5 pattern. When the tJ wins, South

might be able to cross to the ´K and cash the ™K

to pitch the t10.

Even if there is no threat of discarding the t10,

you should take the tA. If you duck the tJ, South

can play the t10 and dummy's diamonds are

winners.

If you take the tA, the diamonds are blocked for

South. South will need to unblock and reach

dummy to make use of the diamonds. You take

the tA.

What next?

To knock out a potential entry to the diamonds,

you continue with the ™6: king - three - nine.

What does that tell you?

South has followed to two hearts and you have

placed South with tJ10. South's must be 5-2-2-4.

Declarer continues with the ´2: seven-jack-queen.

What do you do now?

The defence was found wanting on this deal, from

the semi-finals of a National Teams Playoff.

After winning the ´Q, West played a third heart.

Clearly West was not counting out South's shape

(see full deal opposite). South ruffed, cashed the ´A

and t10, crossed to the ´K and ran the diamonds

to discard three clubs. That was also declarer's plan

if the ´J had won.

Declarer's play setting up the diamonds strongly

suggests a need to discard clubs.

If South had strong clubs, headed by say, AQ,

South might have finessed the ®Q early and set

about ruffing clubs in dummy.

´ Q 10 9

™ 10 7 6 4

t A 5

® K J 9 8

´ K 3 2

™ A K 5

t K Q 6 3 2

® 6 5

´ Q 10 9

™ 10 7 6 4

t A 5

® K J 9 8

N

W E

S

Declarer plays the ™A from dummy and East

contributes the ™2, low-encouraging, and South the

™8. Declarer plays the t2 from dummy: nine

(natural count) - jack...

What is natural count?

Playing low from an odd number of cards and

high-low with an even number of cards. 'Reverse

count' is high-low with an odd number of cards

and lowest from an even number.

What do you know from East's t9?

DSouth began with tJ10 and East with t9874.

With an even number of diamonds headed by the

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