Bella Ciao

Hi all, 

I’ve attended Rock Werchter for the .. 4th? 5th? 6th? time. Counting festivals is hard, especially if your mom makes you cut off those bracelets you have been diligently collecting as trophies. I’m much better at counting cards and HCP anyway. There was lots of incredible stuff this year .. Franz Ferdinand, Nine Inch Nails, Stonesour, David Byrne, Gorillaz and Pearl Jam to name a few. Earthquake wise I think DJ Marshmello registered on local and not so local tremor sensors. Man! Those were some big beats.

Here’s a massive deal from the Intercity games. 

West
North
East
South
pass
pass
pass
11
pass
12
pass
13
pass
24
pass
2NT5
pass
36
pass
37
pass
3NT8
pass
49
DBL
RDBL10
pass
411
pass
412
pass
4NT13
pass
514
pass
515
pass
516
pass
717
a.p.
 
 
 
  1. 16+
  2. 5+
  3. Relay
  4. 6+ , singlesuited
  5. Relay
  6. A 6331-distribution
  7. Relay
  8. 6-3-1-3
  9. Relay
  10. No Aces
  11. Relay
  12. No Kings
  13. Relay
  14. Three Queens
  15. Relay
  16. Not the Queen in my shortest suit
  17. I was going to bid this anyway

Of course during the relay sequence the positive response was a surprise, but the answers to the rest of my questions were getting less and less pretty. I can tell before my LHO makes his lead I’ll be needing five tricks from my suit. I just hoped that because of the lead directing double Kees might have better fitting honours in the other suits .. like a stiff Jack of Diamonds.

West leads a trump and this is what I see:

North
QJT962
QT4
4
QT5
South
AK7
A2
AKQT2
A84

I win the first in my hand and I cross to dummy with my 7 of (breaking 1-3). Entries are scarce. There’s one thing I know .. West has the King. Dropping the Jack of -trebleton will see me home, but percentage wise that’s less than hooking the Jack. I take a deep breath and hook the Ten of . West following with a small one. 

I’m clear not, am I not? I draw the outstanding trump and start my from the top. Oh no .. the suit is not breaking .. East has 5 of them. 

I have a last trick up my sleeve. I can execute a squeeze against East. The three-card ending will be Qx and the final trump in dummy and Ax and my last in my hand. On the last trump East will have no recourse. What suit to pick, though? I can achieve this ending in both and . Wait a minute! West was helpful during the bidding to tell me about the whereabouts of the King. 

Easy. I pitch all in dummy on my high , cash my Ace (ditching a ) and ruff a to run the rest of the trumps. Leading to this position:

North
9
QT
South
A2
2

East surrenders when I call for the 9 of . I take all 13. 

Full deal:

West Dealer
NS Vul
North
QJT962
QT4
4
QT5
West
8
98653
85
KJ962
East
543
KJ7
J9763
73
South
AK7
A2
AKQT2
A84

After analysing this deal at the bar we came up with the best play. If you know that you need 5 tricks from the suit, you first execute a double Vienna coup, and then run your trumps. You still need the Jack of onside, but if a 5-crd suit is accompanied by at least one King, your suit will still come in for 5 tricks. That also means you come home with Jack-doubleton onside. Thanks to Antony for pointing that cute detail out to me. 

With regards to the title, don’t be afraid, I’m not going anywhere. I’ll be writing. It’s a song from La Casa de Papel I’ve been (binge)watching together with Fabi.

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