Mark Horton

Trouble with Trumps

With a combined trump holding of Q108 opposite A32 you would not expect the defenders to score five trump tricks every day of the week, but see what happened on this deal from the Rockwell Mixed Pairs:

Dealer: West

Vul: None

North A
Q 10 8 4
A 9 6 5 3
West East
K 3 2 A 9 7 6
Q 10 8 A 3 2
K 4 Q J 10 8 7
9 8 7 4 3 2
J 5
9 7 6 5 4
Q J 10 6 5
West: Lewis

North East: Jassem

1NT All Pass

With honours in both short suits I don’t care for North’s 1NT at all – for the umpteenth time 5-4-2-2 is not a no trump distribution.

However, on this occasion opening One Diamond would not necessarily have worked out any better.

East led the queen of diamonds and declarer won with the ace and tried to cash his top clubs. East ruffed and played another diamond which declarer ruffed on the table to play a heart to the eight, jack and ace.

East now played the ten of diamonds ruffed by declarer and overruffed by West who played another club.

Declarer discarded a diamond and East ruffed and played the jack of diamonds, ruffed and overuffed. The ace and king of spades gave the defenders two more tricks for two down.

+100 was worth a significant share of the matchpoints.

There are two points to notice.

Declarer could have saved a trick by discarding one of dummy’s spades on the third or fourth round of diamonds, but after failing to do so the first time East can ensure two down by playing a low spade after the second club ruff.

Since declarer has already turned up with seven points in clubs, four in diamonds and one in hearts he should have 3-5 more. When they are the sxQ and the hxK the low spade switch gives declarer no opportunity to discard a diamond.

Even if North has the king of spades and the hxQJ this defence will result in one down.

1 Comment

Kyle ButtOctober 1st, 2009 at 1:21 am

If the opponents are ruffing, I believe the auction is incomplete. Perhaps it went 1NT-2D-2H All pass?

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