Mark Horton

Treble Dutch

Having made an excellent decision in the bidding, English International David Kendrick made a fine play in the final of the Blue Ribbon Pairs to bring home a fascinating 3NT.

The added twist was that the three other players at the table were all Dutchmen.

Dealer: West

Vul: All

K 6 5 4 3
K 8 2
Q 3
9 8 5
West East
10 Q 8 7 2
J 9 7 5 10 6 4
J 7 4 2 K 9 8 6
A 10 7 2 K Q
A J 9
A Q 3
A 10 5
J 6 4 3
West North East South
Drijver van Cleeff Drijver Kendrick
Pass Pass Pass 1NT
Pass 2 * Pass 2
Pass 2NT Pass 3NT
All Pass

After North transferred and then invited South followed the sound policy with a balanced hand of opting for the nine trick game, thereby avoiding the doomed 4 .

West led a heart and declarer won with dummy’s king and played a spade to the jack. The appearance of West’s ten was ominous and keeping his options open, declarer exited with a club. East took the king and played a heart and when declarer won and played another club East continued the game of ping pong by winning and exiting with a third heart.

Declarer won that and now played three rounds of spades putting East on play and forcing him to lead away from the king of diamonds.

When East got in with the queen of clubs he missed a difficult chance to defeat the contact by finding a switch to a low diamond which removes the entry to the long spades.

My finessing friend tells me that declarer can always make the contact if he wins the first trick in hand. Say he then exits with a club. East will win, but a diamond exit will not help now, as there is still an entry to dummy and on a heart continuation declarer has more than one way to arrive at nine tricks provide he takes the right view.

Perhaps the neatest is to win in dummy and play a spade to the jack, exiting with a club when the ten falls. To avoid the endplay declarer achieved at the table East must exit with a diamond immediately after winning this trick, but declarer runs that to dummy’s jack, plays a spade to the nine, cashes the major suit aces. West will have to keep two clubs s  and then plays ace of diamonds so in the four card ending declarer simply plays ace of diamonds and a diamond. If East wins he will end up giving the last trick to dummy’s king of spades and if West wins he will have to give declarer a club trick.

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