Nerves

Hi all

This deal is from a teams tournament in San Jose. Same setup as in Santa Cruz. On the deal below I got a bit carried away and left Greg playing in a borderline slam.

North Dealer
NS Vul
North
AJ62
J3
AT94
A93
West
QT843
62
J7
QT72
East
975
K95
KQ3
J865
South
K
AQT874
8652
K4
West
North
East
South
 
1NT1
pass
22
pass
23
pass
24
pass
35
pass
34
pass
36
pass
44
pass
47
pass
6
a.p.
 
 
 

1. 14-16
2. GF relay trigger
3. Four card suit (!)
4. Relay
5. Four card suit
6. 4-2-4-3
7. 0 or 3 Aces

Greg and I are trying out some inversions over 1NT – 2 and 1 – 1NT relay auctions to see whether we can maneuver contracts more often into the strong(er) hand. It is a little bit more ballast, but so far it has been working out fine. During the auction I could see Greg would have to tackle the trumps for one loser and the rest of Greg’s cards would take care of losers in my hand.

When dummy hit the table Greg could count to eleven tricks. Number twelve should come from a squeeze. But East found a nasty lead: the King of . Nasty because it attacked a vital entry. Basically Greg could work to a position like this:

North Dealer
NS Vul
North
AJ
A93
West
QT
QT7
East
9
Q
J86
South
4
65
K4

On the last trump West would have to let go of a , then North can pitch the Jack but East is in no pain yet. North still has to cash the Ace of to complete the pressure pack on East, but then communication is gone.

There is one route that might have succeeded and that is to duck the first . Unless East has nerves of steel (to continue with a small ) he’ll probably switch to another suit, and then you can unblock and cash the before clearing and running trumps. Greg would have been able to work to a position like this:

North Dealer
NS Vul
North
J
A93
West
Q
QT7
East
Q
J86
South
4
6
K4

On the last trump first West gets squeezed out of and then East.

Greg immediately took a lot of blame for not ducking the lead and not recognizing the proper route to twelve tricks. No problem. Eventually this board proved to be a 6 imp loss. Yes, you read it correctly: 6 imp. At the other table North opened 1, South introduced his and over the 1 rebid South took a very pessimistic view and reverted to 2 (making 5). What an endeavour!

3 thoughts on “Nerves

  1. Indeed a nice endplay, however, even if the opponents lead diamond king and switch to a spade, I don’t think you have enough communication to finesse hearts and work to the endplay you describe. Unless they shift to a small heart in trick two…

    • I disagree. After King lead (ducked) and a switch North still holds the Ace of . Cross now in , cash the Ace and then take the finesse, voila! the ingredients for the squeeze are still intact.

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