Play or defend 1
This was deal 9 from the STaC (Sectional Tournament at Clubs) game Thursday afternoon, November 17, in a 20 table game at Hazel’s Bridge Club. Have a look at this layout. Would you rather play or defend a contract of 4 of a major? There seem to be four losers and no place to dump any of them. This is what happened at our table.
3 diamonds was preemptive, although nobody asked, You can follow the play by pressing the Next button (above) a few times, or by reading the explanation following. North cashed the Ace of diamonds, and switched to the 10 of clubs. Declarer won the ace and cashed two top trumps. Then he went after hearts. North declined to ruff in on the third round, so declarer cashed a fourth round, North still discarding. Declarer then exited with a club and South had to win but was endplayed. She had to lead a diamond yielding a ruff and a sluff.
Double dummy, 4 spades played by West can be broken. It takes a middle club lead at trick 1 to do it.
Again, you can follow the play by pressing the Next button a few times, or by reading the explanation following. North leads the 10 of clubs. It is immaterial what declarer does; let us say that he wins it, following the previous line of play. Now when North gains the lead with the Queen of spades, the defenders can use their diamond winner to untangle their winners in clubs, using diamonds as the communication suit, crossing to the King of clubs, back on a high diamond, and cashing the Queen of clubs, The losers are 1 spade. 2 clubs, and 1 diamond.
4 spades is unbreakable (double dummy) when played by East. 4 hearts can be made no matter whether East or West declares. Why doesn’t the same defence work against 4 hearts played bt West as when West declared 4 spades?
I couldn’t concoct a legitimate auction to have West the declarer in 4 hearts, so I just had him bid it. Once again, you may follow the play by sucessively pushing the Next button immediately above, or by following my explanation following. Have North lead the 10 of club; Declarer wins the ace and draws trump. Now before knocking out the Queen of spades, he executes a scissors coup, leading a diamond himself. The defenders can cash one diamond and the King of clubs, but then must yield a sluff and a ruff. One of the black losers disappears; there is still one black loser, but 4 hearts is just in.
Those interrested may view the virtual traveller here. There was a scoring error: NS 20 vs. EW 12 actually made 4.