Criss cross in El Cerrito

Hi all

Things are a bit slow here. Companies still aren’t hiring, state of emergency in California because of drought (except in Berkeley, where it has been raining for 2 weeks now), I won a Friday Night Magic Event, the green asparagus now available makes my life good, and tomorrow Watchmen will hit the theatres. Next week I hope I can start with the (unpaid) internships I have volunteered for. I have to set up a database on stereotactic radiation therapy data in a hospital around the corner (yes, it’s really unpaid!), the other internship involves arrangements for events for angel investors in the Bay Area. Just read: "connecting and networking".

Here’s a nice deal from a teams event in El Cerrito last weekend.

South Dealer
NS Vul
North
5
Q7
Q97654
A975
West
KT864
T63
73
J84
East
A932
842
KJT
KT2
South
QJ7
AKJ95
A8
Q63

Declarer had no problem wrapping up 9 tricks in 1NT when our defence was less than optimal. We got lazy when we noticed those 8 points in dummy opposite a strong NT. Spare energy. But there’s a nice twist to this deal. The defence really has to keep a keen eye on the ball had South declared 3NT.

West leads a for East’s Ace and East returns one for declarer’s Jack, ducked by West.

There are only eight tricks for grabs. Declarer can work towards an endplay or squeeze for an extra trick. Take five in , then exit in . This is the position with one more to go:

South Dealer
NS Vul
North
 
 
Q9
A9
West
6
 
7
J8
East
 
 
KJ
KT
South
 
 
A8
Q6

If West cashes the 6, dummy will discard 9 and South 8, creating a criss cross position. And East? What King will he undress?

It’s funny, because it doesn’t really matter. As long as West pays attention, declarer cannot prevail. He should play the suit where East has kept the doubleton. And I think East gets his message best across by discarding the King instead of baring it. That should steer West in the right direction.

And we got beaten by some team of elderly people (again), but that’s another story.

4 thoughts on “Criss cross in El Cerrito

  1. Actually, it seems that the squeeze works regardless since both threats are in South, the Q is actually irrelevant. Specifically, dummy discards 9 on the 6 and declarer discards whatever East doesn’t. In either case three tricks are his with no communication problems.

    However the contract can still be beaten – West should simply return a or instead of cashing the last .

  2. I agree, East will always get squeezed! I had a tunnelvision regarding the criss cross position.

    The presence of that pointy Queen just had me mesmerized.

    By the way, if the opponents start with three rounds of a squeeze will not materialize.

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