The Australian Spring Nationals - blog 3

Posted 26 October 2012 by Ron

Try this problem:

South dealer : North-South vulnerable

2heart(1) Dble 2spade 3heart
Pass 3spade(2) Pass 4heart
Pass 4NT Pass 5diamond(3)
Pass 5heart All Pass  

(1) At least 5-5 in spades and clubs
(2) Cue-bid, 1st or 2nd round control
(3) 0 or 3 key cards

You would like to be in just 4, but here you are in 5. West leads the 3: two – eight – queen. Plan the play.

(Answer later)

Our team (Hugh Grosvenor – Bob Richman, Matt Mullamphy  and me) had a good day yesterday In the Spring National Open Teams with wins of 24-6, 20-10 and 25-3. We have taken a narrow (1 VP) lead from JEDRYCHOWSKI, who we play in the first match today. Four and five VPs further back are the HOFFMAN and HANS teams, who also meet in Round 7. You can see all the results and scores on the website under ‘Results’.

Answer to today’s problem:

This was Board 6 in Round 4:

South dealer : North-South vulnerable

There is no problem in 4. You can mispick hearts, but you lose only two hearts and a spade. In 5 on a black suit lead, you have to pick the heart position. Given West’s black two-suiter, one might easily go wrong and play West for Q-x.

After the 3 lead, clearly a singleton, declarer has no real choice how to play the hearts. If West began with Q-x, you will always lose to the A, suffer a diamond ruff and lose to the A. Therefore you have to play a heart to the king at trick 2 as the only hope.

It is a curious deal. If you make the attractive lead of your singleton, declarer figures to make, but if you stay off the singleton and lead one of your long suits, declarer probably fails.

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I have only been doing the Daily Problem. It is excellent practice! I’ll send you more feedback as I get to explore more on the web site.

K. Hollander