Source: BDI Bridge d’Italia May 2005
Confronting your Play with the Champions
All Vul in West you receive:
A K 9 8 5 4 A K 7 6 5 4 3 –
You are thinking how you will bid your two-colored hand, open 1 or 2 to find out your partners ases?… when your RHO opens with a 5 bid.
What is your bid?
Now you have few choices, and you begin with a 6 cue bid. East answers 6, and you correct to 6 showing spades and hearts. All Pass. North leads the J and down comes the dummy:
This is the bidding:
Your plan after the J lead?
No doubt you have found a n¡ce dummy, four hearts to the Queen a spade doubleton. With a decent spades and hearts distribution you are cold. However South’s 5 opening bid induces us to take precautions.
You cover the J, with your Q and South plays the K. After ruffing how do you play?
You play the A, if hearts are 2-1, you are cold even if spades are 4-1. But over your A South pitches a club. Now you need the spades 3-2. You play the A, all play spades. But over your K, South plays a club. So North begun with 4 spades, you ruff a spade, South plays a club.
To make 10 tricks you need to ruff another spade, traying not to promote the J from North. You need to avoid a club from South. So you play the K hoping North has the A.
If you played this line, you have played exactly as Steve MacKay from Canada, and he was down when South produced the A.
When the hand was over was Mackay who found the solution that would have allowed him to overcome the bad spades and hearts layout, but obviously it was too late.
Did You found the winning line?
These is the hand:
Over North lead you have to play dummy’s 6!!
If South HOLDS UP you pitch the 3. You win the Q return with your A, play the A, learning the 3-0 trump distribution, continue with the K and ruff a spade. You play the Q, ruff a diamond, and continue with the K.
Pitching your diamond in the J, helped you to avoid Souths club reurn.
Now lets see if South plays the K over the J lead.
In this case you must ruff, play the A and continue with the A and K, ruff a spade and play the Q. If South holds up you pitch the diamond loser, if South covers with his A, you ruff with the K , ruff another spade and play the 10 and pitch your diamond. The defense will make a trump.