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Feb. 5, 2024 – The Mercury News

Feb. 5, 2024 – The Mercury News
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“We stopped at six spades in a duplicate game,” a fan writes. “I was South and decided that a grand slam would depend at best on winning a finesse. I won the diamond opening lead and saw that I could take 13 tricks with good luck.”

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My fan plopped down the ace of trumps next — and West discarded. South threw a heart on dummy’s high clubs and won a heart finesse with the queen, but she lost two trumps to East.

“I see that I could have safety-played the trumps,” she writes, “by leading low from dummy and playing the ten if East followed low. Is that really best?”

ASPECT

One aspect of matchpoint duplicate is assessing your contract. “Strength of field” is a factor. In an average club game, where some pairs will stop at game, South might safeguard the contract.

South can lead a club to dummy at Trick Two to finesse in hearts. If the queen lost, South would cash the ace of trumps later, hoping to drop the king. When the heart finesse wins, South plays safe in trumps.

DAILY QUESTION

You hold: S Q 8 7 3 H J 5 3 2 D 8 5 C A K J. Your partner opens one diamond, you respond one heart, he bids two clubs and you try 2NT. Partner then bids three diamonds. What do you say?

ANSWER: Partner’s sequence suggests extra strength with six diamonds and four clubs. With a minimum hand, he would have rebid two diamonds to limit his strength. Your major-suit stoppers are too weak to insist on 3NT. Bid three spades, four diamonds or four clubs.

South dealer

N-S vulnerable

NORTH

S Q 8 7 3

H J 5 3 2

D 8 5

C A K J

WEST

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S None

H 8 6 4

D J 10 9 6 4

C 8 7 6 4 3

EAST

S K J 9

H K 10 9

D Q 7 3 2

C 10 5 2

SOUTH

S A 10 6 5 4 2

H A Q 7

D A K

C Q 9

South West North East
1 S Pass 3 S Pass
4 H Pass 5 C Pass
6 S All Pass
Opening lead — D J

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©2024 Tribune Content Agency, LLC.



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