RealBridge 03

This comes from a Swiss pairs event at the Wellington Club. There must have been some very average defence, because a number of Souths made 1NT, most with an overtrick.

Board 21 From Monday 21/03/22
Dealer N NS Vul


This is a story of one EW disaster. It could have had a happier ending had there not be crossed wires between East and West, as must often have happened when South played in 1NT. However in this case, South was DOUBLED in 1NT. How come, you may ask. When North opened 1S, East might well have made a lightish takeout double. At the given vulnerability, and with four hearts, I would have. However East passed and South bid 1NT, passed back to East who, in afterthought, decided to double. Where was West to go? He just had to sit and stand it and hope there were no overtricks, the expected -180 was not that much worse that -90 after all.

West considered his opening lead options. Nothing appealed so he decided to lead the five of spades. Declarer ran this to her king and proceeded to run more spades from dumy, the fourth one being won by West and setting up a spade trick in dummy. East had discarded. two low hearts. West now had to decide which minor suit to attack. He decided the JACK OF CLUBS was best, hoping to find club cards in partner’s hand after the double of 1NT. Declarer coverd with the king and East won the ace. This is where things turned to custard for the defence, because East now returned the TWO of diamonds. That is normal practice when you lead away from an honour, but this time, it sent West the wrong message. East should have known that West was looking for the best minor suit to attack, and from East’s point of view, he had struck the best one with the jack of clubs. But when East led the diamond two and declarer put in the jack, West, understandably, won the ace and continued with the ten. That did set up East’s queen but it wasn’t enough, and to add insult to injury East was caught in an end play and gave declarer an overtrick. Had East returned the EIGHT of diamonds after winning the ace of clubs, you can see the end result when South wins the diamond ace and continues with the eight of clubs.