European Championships … Israel and Poland Ladies Round Robin
I just attempted to do commentary on a Ladies round robin match which pitted Israel against Poland. And the only way I can describe the bridge is in biblical terms … diabolical. Israel got clobbered. There was one charming hand where the auction, contract and play to the first five tricks was identical. Then trick six …
East doubled to show the round suits in fourth chair and then had to decide what to do when 1NT came back to her.
Both East’s doubled although I personally like 2♣ better. Partner is less likely to have four hearts (she might have bid them over 1NT). And if partner has to pick a suit with 3-3 (or even 2-3) in clubs and hearts I prefer clubs. The disadvantage of bidding 2♣ is partner may be able to pass 1NT doubled and that is exactly what happened at both tables. A club was led at both tables.
East won the ♣10 and proceeded to run the clubs. In both room South had to make three pitches from hand throwing two hearts and a spade in that order. In the Open Room where Poland was the declarer West pitched the ♥7 and the ♠2 (using upside down carding) and dummy pitched two spades. In the Closed Room West pitched the ♥7 and the ♥4 and the ♦2 (playing standard carding I believe). Dummy threw two hearts and on the last club after West threw a diamond the ♦J.
West should have one high card. From the discards so far (and even from the auction) it seems unlikely that declarer does not have the ♥K. So that leaves West with either the ♦K or the ♠K. Imagine that South has the ♠K. South must have three spades (she would pitch a diamond ahead of a spade with Kx of spades) and since partner has thrown one the spades are running. So this is not a useful option. So partner has to have the ♠K and everything points to that.
This is in fact the position at this point in the Open Room with East on lead. The last club had squeezed declarer who had to unguard something. She chose to set up a spade position for the defense rather than unguard hearts. And East did realize that spades were right but she went wrong. She returned the ♠J into the face of dummy’s A109. I won’t comment on this play, I will leave it to you to think over. At least this East worked out that she needed to lead a spade. In the closed Room a diamond was returned and after that declarer could just led a heart to the ♥K.
I liked this hand because it featured a rare squeeze against declarer. It is sad that neither East defender quite got it right. I do recognize that it is not all that easy at the table to work out what to do.