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JUNE_10_EB_p41 North:EB_Layout 3 06/05/2010 17:27 Page 41

Hidden

FINE-TUNING

depths

We are indebted to Margaret North for permission to print this article.

Freddie North died on 28th June 2009; his obituary was published

in the August issue of English Bridge.

CAN you see anything wrong with the followed the popular line are going to be Freddie North

question that follows this layout? unlucky as the diamonds are behaving bad-

ly. One down is the inevitable outcome

when five clubs are discarded from dummy.

N/S Game. Dealer East. At teams or rubber bridge, where the and that will be that: contract made.

´ 10 4 ´ 52 emphasis is always on making the con- In a teams match there was a slight

™ AKQJ83 WN E ™ Void tract, a little fine-tuning is required. This diversion at one table. The play was as

t Q95 S t AK732 may well sacrifice a trick unnecessarily but described up to the point of the diamond

® 86 ® KJ9532 it provides a life-line whenever the obvious finesse but on this occasion East ducked

route turns hostile. In this case declarer's smoothly. Declarer returned to hand with

discards should be one diamond and four the king of clubs and ran the remainder of

Against silent opposition, East bid his clubs; he will then reap a rich reward when his trumps. This was the three card

minors but West became the declarer in 4™. the diamonds break 4-1. ending:

North leads the ace and king of spades and Having ruffed the third spade and drawn

continues with a third spade. The out- trumps, a diamond to dummy and one

standing trumps break 4-3, so how should back to the queen exposes South's single- ´ —

declarer plan the play? ton, but dummy now holds the king and ™ —

The question looks normal enough but jack of clubs and declarer has his chance to t AJ

there is a very important ingredient miss- establish the extra trick he needs. North ® 7

ing. Is it pairs or teams? You really need to has already shown the ace and king of ´ — ´ —

know. First, let us assume you are playing spades so the successful line – playing ™ — N ™ —

W E

in a pairs contest. You ruff the third spade North for the queen of clubs and South t 10 S t K6

and draw four rounds of trumps. But hold for the ace – will not be unduly testing. ® J9 ® 10

on a minute: that involves five discards My second deal also has hidden depths: ´ —

from dummy, so what should they be? If ™ 4

the diamonds break 3-2 (68%) you can t 5

take eleven tricks and so will all the other E/W Game. Dealer South. ® 4

declarers who play the same way. That Contract: 4™ by South.

clearly appears to be the percentage line. ´ J9

Here is the full deal: ™ 632 When the last heart was played. West

t AQJ74 realised what was going on and threw his

® 752 jack of clubs. Dummy parted with the

´ AK97 ´ AK643 ´ Q 10 8 2 seven of clubs and East, putting the fin-

N

™ 10 9 6 ™ 5 W E

™ 10 9 8 ishing touches to the scam, the six of

t 10 8 6 4 t 10 9 3 S t K62 diamonds.

® Q 10 ® QJ96 ® 10 8 3 From declarer's point of view, taking the

´ 10 4 ´ 52 ´ 75 ‘sure’ finesse now might gain only 1 IMP,

™ AKQJ83 N ™ Void ™ AKQJ74 but world championships have been won

W E

t Q95 S t AK732 t 85 by just that amount (the Chinese women

® 86 ® KJ9532 ® AK4 who lost to England by exactly 1 IMP in

´ QJ863 the 2008 World Bridge Games remember

™ 7542 it well), so would declarer be tempted? Yes,

t J West cashes his two top spades and he was but he was not a happy bunny

® A74 switches to the queen of clubs. Playing when East produced the diamond king

pairs, declarer will win the club, draw and master club. However, one has to

trumps and take the diamond finesse. East congratulate the defence for setting an

We can now see that the pairs players who will no doubt win the king of diamonds ingenious trap. r

www.ebu.co.uk June 2010 English Bridge 41

Index

  1. Number 229
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