Good play and good sportsmanship by Zia Mahmood

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How would you take two tricks from this deal, and how would you respond if your partner slipped up?

Zia mahmood Chennai 2015
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the guardian Wednesday 4 January 2012

How would you take two tricks from this deal, and how would you respond if your partner slipped up?

Given adequate entries to both hands and stoppers in the outside suits, how should you play to take two tricks from:


When this combination occurred in a recent teams match, this was the full deal:


At both tables South opened 2NT and North raised him to six – both players were minimum for these actions, and the final contract appeared at first sight to depend on a 3-3 break in clubs. Both Wests led the 10 of hearts, won by South with the king, and both Souths played a spade to the king, ducked by East. At one table South continued blithely with the queen of spades from dummy. Realising that this marked declarer with a holding of three or four spades to the jack, East decided to duck this trick also. If he ended up looking foolish because he never made his ace of spades, so be it – but the bidding meant that South must have the high cards he did in fact hold, and the only chance East could see for the defence was that South would have only 11 top tricks. South could indeed cash no more than 11 winners when the clubs did not break, and East did indeed never make his ace of spades. Instead, a rather surprised West ended up taking the last two tricks with the jack of clubs and a long heart.

At the other table, South handled the spade suit differently. After dummy’s king of spades held the second trick, he crossed to his hand with the ace of diamonds and led a second spade to the queen. Thinking that declarer was trying for his 12th trick by playing West for the ace of spades, East won this trick and played a third round of spades. Winning with the jack, South proceeded to cash the ace of hearts followed by four rounds of diamonds, and in the endgame West could not retain both four clubs to the jack and a heart winner. At this point West did something that I hope you will resolve to do for the New Year: instead of berating East for not noticing that West had played the nine and eight of spades in that order, marking South with three to the jack, West simply murmured: “Well played.”


Esta entrada también está disponible en: Spanish

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