3rd European Open Bridge Championships Page 5 Bulletin 9 - Sunday 24 June 2007

Pretty bad defence

Masochists among our readers have asked for more unsuccessful defences. Who would we be denying them such satisfaction? Here is a particularly unsuccessful effort by North/South who could make a grand slam in spades or no-trumps if it weren’t for the fact that the opponents hold the heart ace. So how many tricks can East-West make with spades as trumps, and assuming the most imperfect defence?

  ♠ A 10 9
A K J 8 5
♣ K J 10 9

♠ Q
10 6 4 3 2
9 6 3 2
♣ 4 3 2
♠ J 6 4 2
A 8 7 5
Q 4
♣ 7 6 5
  ♠ K 8 7 5 3
Q J 9
10 7
♣ A Q 8

Trick 1. Heart king, ace, queen, three. Trick 2. Heart eight, nine, ten, diamond ace. Trick 3. Diamond three, jack, queen, heart jack. Trick 4. Diamond four, seven, nine, eight. Trick 5. Diamond six, five, club five, heart jack It is high time to draw a round of trumps; Trick 6. Spade queen, ten, two, eight. Before playing hearts allowing opponents a version of ruff and sluff - a ruff and ruff; Trick 7. Heart three, spade ace, heart seven, spade king. Trick 8. Spade nine, jack, seven, club two. Trick 9. Spade six, five, club three, diamond king. Trick 10. Spade four, three, club four, club nine Trick 11. Heart five, club eight, heart six, club king. Tricks 12-13 West wins the last tricks with his red twos. It would have been difficult to make a grand slam are off the two highest trumps, but you must admit that twelve tricks is rather impressive, four each in spades, hearts and diamonds.

Mental Arithmetic

by Jan van Cleeff

Green against red you have this exciting hand:

  ♠ 5 4
10 9 6 5 3
J 8 3
♣ 7 5 3

LHO starts the bidding with One Spade and partner preempts Three Diamonds. RHO jumps to Five Diamonds, Exclusion Blackwood. Your bid please.

Board 5. Dealer North. N/S Vul.
  ♠ K Q 9 7 6
K 9 6
♣ Q 10 6

♠ 5 4
10 9 6 5 3
J 8 3
♣ 7 5 3
♠ 10 3
8 4 2
A Q 10 7 5 4 2
♣ 4
  ♠ A J 8 2
Q J 7

♣ A K J 9 8 2

The owner of this exciting hand was Lilo Poplilov. Over Five Diamonds, he paused for a little while, because he was using his fingers again and again to count up the numbers. Apparently Lilo was calculating. Then the bidding proceeded:

West North East South
Lilo Lucacia
  1♠ 3 5
7♣ (!) Dble Pass Pass
7 Dble All Pass

After Lilo’s highly unusual bid of Seven Clubs North South could do no better then double. South felt unable to bid the Grand Slam since he was worried about the club ruff.The grand went seven down: NS plus 1700. At the other table Bo and Marill, Lilo’s teammates, duly bid and made Seven Spades: NS plus 2210. So when the smoke had cleared Lilo had won 11 IMPs for his team. Good calculations by Lilo Poplilov.

Bridge at the (desk) top

by Ib Lundby, Denmark

These Championships are being followed all around the world, and from time to time we get comments and contributions from interested observers and journalists who are watching from home.Here is one such comment.

As editor of a monthly bridge magazine I have visited most of the world to report from World Championships and European Championships during the years. Lots of wonderful experiences, lovely hospitality, exciting momens, etc. I don’t travel much anymore, but thanks to the excellent internet service it is possible to cover an event even better than before. Results, bulletins, photos, news, on-line vu-graph … you name it. Very easy! You can collect the facts for your articles, and save the expenses of travel and accommodation. As usual the number of interesting hands from the championships this time is too numerous to be shown in the Daily Bulletin, but I think that this one deserve some space – though it belongs to the department of ‘bridge at the desk top’. The hand occurred in the Women’s Series, the match between Denmark and Israel:

Dealer West. North/South Vul
  ♠ A 6 5
4 2
A 6
♣ K Q 7 5 4 2

♠ K 10 8 3 2
A 8 6 3
K 3
♣ 10 3
♠ 4
Q J 9
9 8 7 5 4 2
♣ A J 6
  ♠ Q J 9 7
K 10 7 5
Q J 10
♣ 9 8

West North East South
Anita Jensen Helle Rasmussen
1♠ 2♣ Pass 2NT
Pass 3NT All Pass

West led a spade to the seven, and South erred by letting the nine of clubs ride to East’s jack. This way the lay-down contract went one off (a club to the queen solves declarers problems). Lay-down? One of the tools that lazy journalists use in their daily work is ‘Deep Finesse’, and I gave the program a chance to show that 3NT always will be defeated with another opening lead. Yup: DF told me there are four cards with the West hand that lead to success: the king of spades, the ace of hearts, the king of diamonds and the three of diamonds! The solution is a double Merrimac Coup – removing dummy’s entries to the club suit before it is established. However, if your choice is the ace of hearts, a diamond shift is necessary (K or 3). Yes, I know that this hasn’t anything to do with bridge, but it is fascinating … right? The trick with Deep Finesse is to remember it sees all four hands and sometimes finds a line of play or defence that is beyond the powers of the human mind, especially when playing under a time limit. Editor

Pipe-Dreams; or what might have been

by Doug Doub

You pick up the following hand:

  ♠ A J 9 8
A K 3
K Q J 9
♣ 10 8

And hear your partner open One Spade at favourable vulnerability. Over your Jacoby Two No-trump response, he bids Three Hearts to show shortage. Since slam would be lay-down if he has the top spades and two top clubs, and slam should at worst be on a finesse, you use Keycard. Over the response of Five Clubs, showing the three missing cards, your sights become set on the Grand Slam. You now ask for the trump queen, and all of a sudden a vision occurs to you. What might happen if partner shows the trump queen but no side kings? You can imagine partner has something in the order of:

  ♠ K Q x x x
A x x
♣ A x x x

Now the limit of the hand in spades is 12 tricks. Yes but…you have a cunning plan! How about playing Seven Diamonds? You have four diamonds, two hearts and a ruff, to go with your six black winners. Your chance of winning the bidding hand of the year flashes in front of your eyes, only to be snatched away when partner’s actual response to your queen-ask is to deny the queen of trumps. You still have the chance to scramble a decent match-point score in two different ways. The first is to pot the grand slam in diamonds hoping to negotiate the spade queen in due course. Bidding the grand slam in spades is a slightly longer shot. The second is to assume that partner will produce the club king for you and bid six no-trumps. Now you can afford to lose a spade trick and still come to 12 winners. Since partner has no more than seven points in spades, hearts and diamonds, this is a fair assumption.

As it happens spades are 2-2 with the queen offside. For making 13 tricks in Six Spades you would score 37, 13 tricks in no-trumps earn you 69, and bidding and making the grand slam gets you at least a 90% board.

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