From 26th July, 2006, Board 12
Themes Matchpoint Decisions
Difficulty * * *
Dlr West N-S Vul
Southís 2NT was artificial (Lebensohl), asking Partner to bid 3♣. When Dummy comes down itís easy enough to see why she by-passed the relay.
After the J♥ lead, there are 8 top tricks, and Diamonds looks like the obvious place to try for a 9th. You lay down the K♦, and West shows out.
Your hopes of running the Diamonds have been dashed, but at least you now have 9 sure tricks. You lead the J♦, which East covers, and, of course, you play low from your hand in order to ensure the third Diamond trick. In with the Q♦ East makes the good play of returning a Diamond, forcing you to take the two Diamond winners immediately. Now, comes the real problem. Do you satisfy yourself with 9 tricks? Or do you lead towards Dummyís K♣, trying for 10 tricks, but risking ignominious defeat if you are wrong?
This oneís easy if you count up the missing points. The opponents started out with 9 HCPís, and East has already shown up with the Q♦. If East were also to have the A♣, that would leave West with a maximum of 3 HCPís for his Weak Two bid. So, we suggest that you take your life in your hands and play a Club towards the King. Yes, once in a while youíll look foolish as you go down in your cold contract, but thatís matchpoints. But surely itís reasonable to assume that, most of the time, West will have the A♣.
Keys to Success
- Counting the missing HCP's and remembering the auction
- Taking a matchpoint risk by playing on Clubs
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