Ted's Bridge World Dante's Infernal

A Play Worth Remembering

Once in a blue moon, someone at Dante's Infernal makes a bid or play that is so good that it simply must be reported.  This one occurred in the Thursday Morning Pairs on May 14:

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The opening lead of the jack of clubs was taken by south, who promptly returned a spade right into dummy's KJxx!

North grabbed the ace of spades and continued with a low club to the queen and king.  Now, although declarer could discard a heart on the established king of spades, he could not avoid the subsequent loss of two heart tricks, for down one and 7 of 8 matchpoints.

If you believe that that play was unnecessary, then consider what could happen if south woodenly continues with a club or a diamond at trick two.  Declarer can arrange to ruff a club high and win the second trump lead in hand, to this position:

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Declarer leads the ten of spades.  If north grabs the ace, he is triply endplayed, having the choice of giving dummy two spade tricks, setting up the heart king, or yielding a ruff-sluff.

North's best play would be to duck the spade lead; but declarer can counter that as well.  The simplest follow-up is to win the jack of spades, then lead a heart toward the nine, endplaying north no matter which hand has the ten or queen of hearts.

Other winning options are available as well, but which are dependent upon the location of certain lesser spot-cards.  Note also that south can duck the opening lead as long the defense grabs the ace of spades upon winning the second club.

My partner, Albert, sitting south, foresaw the potential endplay at trick one, and took steps to prevent it.  That's why I play with him.

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