Safety

Hi all

I won’t waste any time, here’s a 3NT from Star.  

South started with 1 (preparing for a strong NT), West interfered with 1 and the auction ended in 3NT. West kicked off with a small and a rich dummy comes down.

North
K95
JT74
AK
KJ82

South
AQ32
A3
J92
A965

That’s an awful lot of points together, so nine tricks should be easy, not? Count first, there are three , a , two and two available. You just need to conjure one little, cute extra trick. There are several chances, could be 3-3, a working finesse, and there are even distant throw in and/or squeeze possibilities.

I’m still surprised and a bit disturbed that the majority of declarers (including my partner *sorry Hoek*), overlooked the safetyplay in .

South Dealer
– Vul
North
K95
JT74
AK
KJ82
West
74
KQ92
Q87543
3
East
JT86
865
T6
QT74
South
AQ32
A3
J92
A965

Start with the King of and then play a small towards your hand and cover everything East inserts. You win with every 3-2 split, and you can cope with every 4-1 or even 5-0 split.

I think Hoek got punished badly for overlooking the safety play, but on the other hand with these kinds of games you can make or break your own luck.

It’s funny, I was completing this story about safety and nine solid tricks in 3NT, when I found out Marcel Winkel (very likeable and famous Dutch ‘Meesterklasse’ contender) had written too about the same deal.
Mumbles something about great minds…

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