Linda Lee — My personal bridge blog

Could I Actually Be Wrong? It Was A Friday

The very last hand of the Round 17 was very exciting.

Board 16. Dealer West. E-W Vulnerable.

  ♠ 5 4 3 2
♥ A K 7 5 4
♦ Q 5 2
♣ 9
♠ A Q J 10
♥ 3
♦ K J 9 7 6 4
♣ 7 4
Bridge deal ♠ K 9 8 7 6
♥ 10 8 6
♦ A
♣ A K 10 2
  ♠ –
♥ Q J 9 2
♦ 10 8 3
♣ Q J 8 6 5 3


This is one of those hands that everybody is going to talk about it.  I admit I got it a bit wrong with a bit of double dummy analysis as was able pointed out by a fellow commentator.  Here is the beauty for you.  At most tables the auction would start with the same first three bids

West North East South
1♦ 1♥ 1♠ 5♥
5♠ pass 6♣ dbl
6♠ DBL* pass 7♥
dbl all pass    

The double of 6♠ showed I believe the last of enough defensive tricks to beat the contract so South took the 1400 save.  I am not a great fan of this convention myself.

The question was if they let East-West play 6♠ will they make it.  What is the best line?  On the auction at this table where clubs was doubled by South which really had to show length I think that the right line is to set up diamonds.  This works when diamonds most of the time and it does on this hand even with the bad trump break.  The defense starts heart-heart you ruff and then cash the top diamond.  Cross to dummy on a trump seeing the break and ruff a diamond.  Cash one club and then cross on another trump and cash the ♦K and run diamonds you can overruff whenever West ruffs.   You will make five trump in hand one in dummy, one club and either five diamonds or four diamonds and a second club.  (This depends on whether north every ruffs in or not).  It is my belief they would have made it at this table.

In the other room where Bakkeren was the declarer the auction took a different route.

West North East South
1♦ 1♥ DBL 4♥
4♠ pass 4NT 6♥
pass pass 6♠ all pass


Here the diamond suit was not exposed in dummy.  North started with top two hearts.  What is the right line.  Let’s see if we can work out what is the right line.  If you can get two clubs threw and one diamond you have twelve tricks on a cross-ruff.  This is about an 83% line or so all things being equal.  Of course the defense could have switched to a trump and they didn’t.  Why didn’t Frank Stewart play a trump at trick two?  He knows that West has at least 5 diamonds to go with his four spades and he can see that a cross ruff is coming can’t he?  He can count two clubs, a diamond and nine trump tricks.  There must be a reason why he didn’t play a trump (other than it is dinner time).

Maybe that is too deep.   I don’t entirely think so though.  The play to the second trick suggests that diamonds are breaking to me.  All the commentators suggested I was crazy to suggest that declarer play on diamonds and not the cross ruff line (when viewed single dummy).

So what do you think should the Netherlands have found the right line?  At our table if the Dutch had sold out would declarer have made 6♠ after the double of clubs?  Was I actually wrong on this Friday?

Ray and I will be headed off tonight on the long long long overnight flight to Sao Paulo.  You can tell I am NOT looking forward to the flight but I am looking forward to seeing everyone in Brazil.


MichaelSeptember 5th, 2009 at 4:23 am

Have a good trip, see you soon.

cahSeptember 5th, 2009 at 12:13 pm

w does not know n has all the trumps so w doesnt know n knows declarar has a high crossruff. therefore w doesnt know n knows its mandatory to return trump if the aka he sees are cashing. also w could easily have one more small club and one less small diamond. that hand needs 22 trump or 31 trump and dq third.

Peter GillSeptember 5th, 2009 at 1:54 pm

I think it was Fred Stewart, not Frank.

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