Overwhelmed

Hi all

Jeroen Cottaar showed me this deal from a Dutch junior training session. Every time I look at it, its beauty hits me, overwhelms me.

South
AKQ984
K
AKJ7
75

It’s a very pretty holding, just a hint from a gameforcing hand. East destroys your hopes for an uncontested auction with a Muiderberg 2. The rest of the auction is self explanatory:

West
North
East
South
 
 
21
double
32
pass
43
4
a.p.
 
 
 

1. Muiderberg, weak 5 crd with 4+ minor
2. Pass or correct
3. With the favourable vulnerability raising even more pressure

West kicks off with a and when dummy comes down you find out your contract isn’t exactly laydown.

North
T3
AJ8543
532
94

South
AKQ984
K
AKJ7
75

If trumps split there are ten tricks, but there’s a nasty blockage in , and it’s unlikely the opponents are going to help you out. There are two things to consider now. Trumps have to split otherwise there is no way to ten tricks. And East has a mountain of distribution in the round suits so all the are breathing down your neck. But even with this information the correct line of play is still far from obvious.

East Dealer
NS Vul
North
T3
AJ8543
532
94
West
J72
6
QT964
AT63
East
65
QT972
8
KQJ82
South
AKQ984
K
AKJ7
75

Solution.
See what happens if you play five rounds of trumps (and somewhere in between the Ace)? West has to keep a double guard on the , so he has to discard to three . Now exit in and ruff the third round of . West has nothing left but  and now you can claim your ten tricks by announcing the throw in against West.

Did you notice that playing less than five trumps doesn’t cut it? The opponents can overrun you with endless amounts of and a throw in will not materialize. So East gave the deal away by bidding 4. This information combined with the assumption you cannot deal with a bad trump split should lead to the winning plan.

I’m not sure I would have walked the right path here, my edge is kind of rusty lately. I have a lot on my mind (emigration to the US e.g.!), and I only play once a week not so high profile. Maybe in Berkeley I have time to get back in shape.

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