David Bird
David Bird

The big deals kept on coming during yesterday’s double session of the Teams. I was commentating on the top table for Bridge Base Online, when this deal flashed onto the screen:
Board 6, Round 4 (Teams’ Session 2)
Dealer E EW vul.


A J 7 5 4 3 2
10 5 2
J 3

K 9 8
9 8 3
A 10 8 5
A J 7


K Q 7 6 4 2
K 10 6 3 2


Q 10
K Q J 7 6 4
Q 9 5 4

Oeste Norte Este Sur
Taxeira Garre Matos Schüller
    1 1
Dbl 1 3 Pass
3 Pass 4 Pass
6 The End    

It was bold bidding by the Dream Team, who were leading the event. The K was a wasted value, so effectively it was a 21-point slam. Everything depended on guessing who held the Q. On such deals declarer must attempt to get a complete count on the hand. The defender with more clubs will be favourite to hold the missing queen.
Nuno Matos won the K lead, drew one round of trumps with the king and played a spade to the 10, king and ace. He ruffed the heart return, crossed to the K and ruffed a spade, South’s Q appearing. South had not overcalled 3 and North had not raised the hearts. It therefore seemed that South held six hearts. Add two spades (after the fall of the 10 and Q) and only one diamond. South’s shape must be 2=6=1=4. Matos played the K and confidently finessed the J for +1370.
‘Was a slam bid on Board 6?’ asked Matos when he met his team mates for scoring.
‘Stopped at the five-level, doubled and made,’ Carlos Luiz replied.
‘You doubled?’
‘No, they doubled.’
This was the other auction:

Oeste Norte Este Sur
  Paz   Luiz
    1 1
Dbl 2* 3 3
5 5 Pass Pass
Dbl The End    

North’s 2 was a fit-jump, showing spades and heart support. After a trump lead to the ace, the defenders played two rounds of diamonds. Luiz could then ruff and ditch his clubs on the spades. That was 19 IMPs.

Another deal that caught my eye was this spade game, late at night:
Board 20, Round 9 (Teams’ Session 3)
Dealer W All vul.Dealer E EW vul.


Q 9 8 7 4 3 2

K Q 7 5 2

Q J 8 7 6
A J 5
5 4 3
A J 7


A K 10
K 6
K J 8 7 6
10 9 8


5 4 3 2
A Q 10 9 2
6 4 3

Oeste Norte Este Sur
Radzakevic Matos Timohovich Soares
1 2* 3** Pass
3 3 4 The End

East’s 3 showed diamonds and 3 showed a minimum opener. Matos led the K to the ace and Radzakevic drew trumps in four rounds. When he played the J, North won and exited safely with a club to the dummy. On this trick declarer threw a diamond rather than a heart.
‘King of diamonds,’ said declarer. Soares won with the ace, North showing out, and returned his singleton 10. Declarer rose with the ace and played a diamond to the 8 and 9. South was end-played, forced to concede a diamond trick to dummy, on which declarer could throw his heart loser. The K remained as an entry to the established J. Well played! There was no swing, the declarer for the Dream Team following a similar line at the other table.