Do I Have To Cash Now? … Final of the GNT
Going into Board 64 of the Grand National Teams Flight A Lilenstein (Jared Lilienstein – Sam Lev – John Hurd – Michael Polowan – Brian Glubok, New York NY; Joel Wooldridge, Astoria NY) was leading Spector (Warren Spector, Palm Beach FL; Michael Becker – David Berkowitz, Boca Raton FL; Gary Cohler, Miami FL; Jeff Meckstroth – Eric Rodwell, Clearwater Beach FL) by 4 imps. Board 64 was an exciting deal. North-South have a decent small slam in hearts. However on the lie of the cards a grand slam in hearts can be made if the defenders do not take the cashing ace of clubs on the opening lead. When Cohler-Berkowitz got to this grand slam AND made it the lead changed and Lilenstein was the winner. I am sure others will write about Board 64.
I want to write about Board 61. At the start of Board 61 Lilenstein led 111 to 95. With only four boards to go Spector, down by 26 imps had to make a big move soon. North was the dealer with both vulnerable. This was the auction in both Rooms.
At both tables West led a top diamond and saw this dummy.
At both tables partner signaled to show an odd count in diamonds. What now?
It appears that you have two diamond tricks. Your only other tricks can come from trump or clubs. The only way you can have two trump tricks is if partner has the ace and queen of hearts. The other hope is to play partner for one heart winner and the CK. So let’s give partner the ♥ A and the ♣ K.
You still have to decide whether you have to cash another diamond immediately. A diamond loser could go away on the top spades in dummy.
If declarer is 0-6-2-5 and is missing the ♥ A and the ♣ K if you don’t cash the second diamond declarer could discard a diamond on the top spade and you will not defeat the contract. Cashing the second diamond works because three spade pitches are not enough for declarer. But that means that partner has an even number of diamonds.
But if declarer is 0-6-3-4 (as suggested by partner’s signal) declarer could get rid of their presumed club loser by discarding them away on the spades. Still there is hope. In this scenario declarer has three diamonds and in fact the third diamond will still be a loser. This is the actual deal.