Tromso 2015: The Inaugural Board
7th European Open Championships
Tromso, July 9 2015
It’s been so many days, that almost nobody talks about the first week of Tromso 2015, and less about the hands that were played during it. Sure, there’s so much to say about each day’s hands, there is not enough time to talk about previous hands. With this idea in mind, I asked myself:
What about Tromso 2015 inaugural board?
Board 1 Round 1 Mixed Teams European Championship
This board was played in 44 tables, 14 of them played slam and the rest played game. Only two declarers made the slam, although in many tables where the game was played some declarers managed to make 12 tricks.
At this table Sam Lev (North) and Irina Levitina, decided to try the game level. After Lev 1 opening bid, Irina began showing her spades, Lev went on to describe his hand and Levitina, using the fourth suit, committed the partnership to game.
Lev showed his diamond stoppers, denying three spade cards support and Levitina closed the heart game.
The only lead that defeats the slam is a club: declarer has to play the A and as he plans to pitch his club losers in dummy’s spades he plays a heart ( if he decides to ruff his clubs he is one trick short, try it). West plays small, and declarer plays a top honor and continues with a small trump. When East pitchs a diamond, declarer realizes that West started with A 10 8 7.
West covers J wins with the ace and returns his spade singleton, if declarer wins in his hand or in dummy, he wont be able to pitch his club losers en the spade suit because of the 5-1 distribution.
At the table where Sam Lev was declarer, K. Bertheau decided to make a non conventional lead: the 5.
Lev covered West’s Q with the A. Continued with the Q and when this held, he continued with the 3 to the J. East pitched a diamond, and West played small. Lev played another heart, this time Hoftaniska played his A to continue with the 9, Lev won with his J.
This was the 8 cards, end position:
Lev continued with the K and East was squezzed in the three suits. He chose a club, Lev pitched a diamond from dummy. Now came th A and a diamond to the K, and the 9…and Bertheau surrenderd for the second time.
Note: If West wins the second heart round with his ace, East would live the same squezze situation. Try it.
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