A feast of bridge is looming! Tromso in Norway is host to the Open European Championships starting on Saturday, and wild horses couldn’t stop me going. We kick off with mixed teams and pairs and I will bring you the news next time.
Meanwhile congratulations to Willie Coyle and Graham Orsmond who won the third 2 session Sunday pairs duplicate arranged by the London-based Israeli duo, Lee Rosenthal and Yaniv Vax.
Look at this hand where they maximised a bad layout for declarer by expert communication:
Graham was West and led ♥3 against the standard, but doomed, 3 NT.
When Willie took Ace and King and then played the six, the suit was obviously good for five tricks, and this is the point when communication between them was critical: if West thinks it’s right for the defence to cash out, he should overtake the ♥6 and clear the suit, but cashing out this time means that the defence only scores one more trick with the King of Diamonds, and +100 for E/W was a below average score. If West wants something played through declarer once, he should overtake with the ♥10 and force partner on lead with the nine, but if he wants something played through twice, he should duck the ♥6, and that’s what Graham did. Willie got the message and switched to the ♠8, ducked to the Jack. Graham now played the ♥8 to his partners 9, and another Spade came through.
At this point, declarer should have taken the Ace and cashed out for 3 down, but when he instead won the ♠A and took a Diamond finesse, the defence had eight (!) tricks and an outright top.
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