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First among Equals

On this deal from the first session of the round of 8 in the 1st European Winter Transnational Championships, every table reached 4 Spades.

Board 3. Dealer South. E/W Vul.

Nikos v Team Black

Open Room

WNES
BlackPszczolaGoldBuras
Pass
Pass2*2♠3
4Pass4♠
2: Hearts and a minor

South led the 5 and declarer won with the A and played two rounds of spades, South winning and exiting with a diamond. Declarer won with the Q, cashed dummy’s A, ruffed a heart, went to dummy with a diamond, ruffed a heart and exited with a spade. South won and played the J, but declarer ruffed and ran the ♣7, North winning with the ♣J and returning the ♣2. When declarer followed with the ♣9 he was home, a majestic +620.

Closed Room

WNES
Ward-PlattBertheauP. PatreuhaHult
Pass
PassPass1♠Pass
4♠

South led the 2 and declarer took dummy’s ace and played two rounds of spades, South winning, cashing the ♠K and exiting with a heart. Declarer ruffed, went to dummy with a diamond, ruffed a heart and cashed the A to reach this position:

Declarer cashed the Q, played a club to the ace and a club and was one down, -100.

It is hard to see but cashing the ♠9 is the winning move. I’ll leave you to work out the various possibilities, but declarer can always prevail.

As I half-expected, David Gold was the only declarer to record ten tricks.

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Mark Horton

Mark Horton, Chief Editor to the WBF and EBL is a prolific writer, his many books including award winning collaborations with Sabine Auken, Eric Kokish and Eric Rodwell.

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