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Appetite comes with eating (Le Bridgeur Magazine n°897 – August 2015)

jerome750_en

Article written by Jérôme Rombaut and published in the French magazine Le Bridgeur n°897 on 15 August 2015.

In pairs tournaments, being hungry for success is a good thing. Squeeze can even turn you into an ogre provided you execute it by the book.

Once again, this instructive deal has been reported to me by my faithful friend Jean-Michel Grosfils.

Pairs tournament. Dealer South. East-West vulnerable.

South’s hand is:

S A K 9 7 5
H K 10 6
D A 8 4
C 7 5

 
The bidding proceeds as follows:

South W N E
1S PASS 2D PASS
2S PASS 3S(1) PASS
4D(2) PASS 4H(3) PASS
4S(4)

 
(1) Slam try.
(2) Non-minimum hand without club control but with diamond control. 3NT could be considered to show an average hand but 4 top cards are too much.
(3) It usually shows heart control. Some make this bid to show both club and heart controls. On Funbridge, we have chosen a third option: it shows club control since it is partner’s problem.
(4) As both players are minimum for their proposal, it seems reasonable to stop.

West leads the heart queen and dummy spreads his hand:

S J 6 2
H A 3
D K Q 9 5 3
C K Q 3
NSEO_en
S A K 9 7 5
H K 10 6
D A 8 4
C 7 5

 
Take the lead with the heart ace. At this stage, it is pointless to think about clever safety manoeuvres in trumps. You are in pairs, so you must suppose that opponents’ trumps split favourably. Besides, it is a good principle to keep in mind: in pairs tournaments, when the contract is normal (i.e. bid by most tables), you should always take risks to try to take as many tricks as possible.

Start by playing the spade ace. If the queen is bare in West, you will be able to catch East’s 10 but the reverse is not true. Continue with the spade king.

The full deal is:

S J 6 2
H A 3
D K Q 9 5 3
C K Q 3
S 10 4 3
H Q J 8 2
D J 10
C A 9 6 2
NSEO_en S Q 8
H 9 7 5 4
D 7 6 2
C J 10 8 4
S A K 9 7 5
H K 10 6
D A 8 4
C 7 5

 
The trump queen being second, you aim at taking thirteen tricks! Take West’s last trump with dummy’s jack. Play diamond king and ace (to check that the suit splits favourably) and get rid of your last two trumps by discarding two clubs in dummy. You thus cash all your diamonds (by discarding your two clubs) and on the last one, West is irrevocably heart-club squeezed. And you nearly get a top.