47th European Bridge Team Championships Page 4 Bulletin 14 - Saturday Evening, 3 July  2004

Another Lost Opportunity

by Roald Ramer

The incomparable Johan Cruijff keeps reminding the strikers not to run too much: “after a rush of 50 metres you will deliver the ball into the hands of the keeper” is one of his well- known quotes. I had to think about his warning when listening to the story of one unhappy captain on Monday evening.

After a relatively dull set of uneventful hands against one of the weaker teams our South player forgot on board 12 to beat the 3NT contract misplayed by the declarer. This did not figure to lose points but the lost opportunity prompted a rather violent reaction from his partner. Directly on the following board our unhappy North player tried to win some points by bidding a vulnerable game on a part score deal. An easy double and a foul trump break cost us 800 on that ominous board 13. The first really interesting deal of the set was the number 18.

Board 18. Dealer East. N/S Vul.
  ª -
© Q 10 8 2
¨ K 8 7 5 3
§ K J 8 7
ª 7 6 5 4
© K J 7 6 4
¨ 2
§ A 5 3
Bridge deal ª A 8 3 2
© 9 5 3
¨ 10 6 4
§ 10 9 2
  ª K Q J 10 9
© A
¨ A Q J 9
§ Q 6 4

West North East South
    Pass 1§
1© 2¨ Pass 2ª
Pass 3§ Pass 3¨
Pass 3NT Pass 4¨
Pass 5§?? Pass 6¨
All Pass      

1§ was a two way opening bid: weak no trump or any strong hand, 2¨ was not forcing. The rest was natural but the 5§ cue bid would in my book promise the ace. With a second round control North could make another bid – it depends on the partnership agreements and the specific context which of the three available bids on the four level should it be. But the luck was with North, as his partner held the ©A.

East led a heart to declarer’s ace and West smoothly ducked the spade king played from the table not knowing about the void in the declarer’s hand. It is not advisable to go down in a slam on trick two, but ruffing is not recommended if you do not see any chance of making – it can only lead to down two and a loss of 3 IMPs. Can you spot a successful line with all hands open? In fact only the actual distribution of the EW hands allows the contract to be made. You ruff in hand, enter the dummy with a trump, ruff another spade and try to exit with the king of clubs. West ducks once but he has no defence against the §J. Whether he plays his ace now or ducks again, he is lost in either case. Taking the ace offers declarer a much needed entry to the dummy, ducking the ace leads postpones the execution by one trick only as both lead to the following three cards ending with North on play.

  ª -
© Q 10
¨ -
§ 8
ª -
© K J 7
¨ -
§ -
Bridge deal ª -
© 9
¨ 10 6
§ -
  ª 9
© -
¨ A Q
§ -

Should a top class player be able to visualise this end position at the table? With a strong body and clear mind perhaps he could, but certainly not any more after all that running on the previous hands.

Page 4

  Return to top of page
<<Previous Next>>
1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6
To the bulletin list