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X-Clubs Play 19

Board 1 could have got you off to a good start if you were North or South and knew your odds as declarer in a fairly prosaic 3NT. It seems that only Deep Finesse knows the odds but then, it can see all the hands. A reasonably competent declarer does not need to see all the hands to see the possibilities, at least in this deal. However, not one declarer at our club session made twelve tricks in No Trumps, and only a few did across the whole of X-Clubs, some helped by atrocious opening leads.

Board 1 from Thursday 2/06/2022
Dealer North Nil Vul

AK92
AJ7
K864
64
853
8543
QJ95
K2
QJT64
62
72
J853
7
KQT9
AT3
AQT97

X-Clubs Play 17

Oh what a difference an opening lead can make! This one is straight from the text book but only one East found the trump lead when the bidding screamed for it.

Board 2 from Thursday 12/05/2022
Dealer East NS Vul

Q9
AQ874
AT83
Q5
KT53
J652
K2
K87
A72
KT3
QJ64
T32
J864
9
975
AJ964

The Dreaded Grosvenor Coup

aka X-Clubs 16. How many readers are familiar with the “Grosvenor Coup”? I will try and explain it in simple terms: a defensive blunder gives the contract to declarer but it creates so much doubt in declarer’s mind that he takes a losing line when having been presented with the contract. Look up Grosvenor on Google: Grosvenor Coups used to be quite the thing some years ago. But they can still occur today, as evidenced by this deal which left your author with a huge amount of egg on his face and a bottom instead of a top on Board 26 from Friday 6/05/2022.

Dealer East EW Vul
Board 26

AKJ63
8654
T8
93
T2
AQT7
5
AJ8742
Q84
J93
Q972
KQ6
975
K2
AKJ643
T5

Would you get to the Slam?

The question I posed my panel came from recent play and one of my respondents wanted to know whether there was a good way to get to the excellent 6D. Most of us would have bid 3D with the given hand and most of our partners would have then bid 3NT which would have been passed. I do agree with Dean, though, that you should rebid diamonds and 4D would give partner an option of 4S or, as it happens, 6D when he sees 4D on the bidding pad. Another moot point: is the 3D bid stronger than a minimum? I play it as similar to a reverse, hence North should have been interested and bid 4D not 3NT. But some people play 3D as nothing more than a normal diamond rebid. Something to discuss with
partner.

The two hands were

AQ9854
AJ942
A5
73
AQ875
K865
KQ

X-Clubs Play 15

From “The Archives”. I came across this deal while reviewing some of my more interesting files from many years ago. This one was from an Open match point tournament. There are some interesting aspects and I asked a number of current players what they would do with the South hand.

Dealer North All Vul

JT32
3
AJ74
A984
Q94
Q5
QT9852
K6
AK6
KJ7652
7
T52
875
AT98
K6
QJ73

Your Bid?

Match Points EW VUL Dealer East. You are South.
The bidding has been:

SouthWestNorthEast
---1
Pass1NTPass2
PassPassXPass
?

What do you bid holding

875
AT98
K6
QJ73

Answers to me at villyn@xtra.co.nz please.

Killing Lead Required

From Wellington Open Pairs Saturday 23/04/2022
Nobody likes opening leads, much less so against slams.
Board 14 Dealer E Nil Vul

A86532
Q
QJT765
AKT8
Q
AJ9742
A2
Q54
KJ9
K65
K984
J97632
T74
T83
3

Two Bidding Questions Answered

Thanks for the input of the many who responded - it should be valuable for all of us. Below is a summary of some of your answers and my own view of things.

Match Points
You are SOUTH

1. Dlr W EW Vul

SouthWestNorthEast
-PassPassPass
1Pass1Pass
?

Your bid holding:

A95
AKQT5
AT6
J8

X-Clubs Play 14

Declarers and defenders both had the chance to shine on this deal, though I suspect that the best defence and best declarer play was not much often in evidence.

Board 15 from Tuesday 12/04/22
Dealer S NS Vul

T982
T543
QT632
J942
AQ7
K76
K87
AT853
KJ653
A
J9
KQ76
4
QJ982
A54

A Bird’s Eye View

Brilliant defence has always fascinated me, to the extent that I offer this commentary on defence, which comes from an article I wrote 20 years ago inspired by something I read in a very old copy of a well known New Zealand magazine, one I picked up in the local fish and chip shop. This is basically how the story went:

Dealer South NS Vul

984
72
94
AQT964
Q53
QJT94
KJ
J82
JT72
863
Q872
K5
AK6
AK5
AT653
73

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