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The Killer and the Argument at Tauranga.

A nice friendly game is bridge. We are all friends even when the action at the table does not go our way. So, today, we look at the “Killer Lead” and the argument. Well, who would dare pick a fight with Grant Jarvis and win?

The Killer Lead

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North Deals
E-W Vul
   
9
7
K 10 7 6 5
K 10 9 8 5 3
 
N
W   E
S
   
West North East South
  Pass 1  4 
5  Pass Pass 5 
Pass Pass Dbl All pass

Can you find it?

Actually, we erred in posing the problem yesterday as it was East who doubled in the pass out seat, not West, your hand being just a little thin for such an action. Either your partner has a pretty good hand of their own or they expected something reasonable in terms of high cards from your 5-level vulnerable offering.

Well, it may be comforting to know that of the four suits from which you can choose, three of them will beat this contract, one of them in great style, the other two comfortably enough but the fourth is to be avoided, at all costs. Are you now any the wiser? If so, place a card on the table!

Surely, if partner has honour cards outside of diamonds, the diamond lead could wait. Indeed, it would seem from their bidding that South is void in the suit. Imagine Diamond-smallA is in dummy and you found the only entry to dummy for declarer: black suit discard, contract making! Nightmare material! Maybe the double said “do not lead a diamond!”

A trump lead could easily pick up your partner’s Heart-smallQxx. Try justifying that in the post mortem. So, it’s down to the black suits. Who knows what would happen if you tried a club? Yet, if partner has Spade-smallA, then you can score a swift ruff. So, out came Spade-small9 and what might have been +300 from down 2 doubled became one overtrick!

Yes, the spade was “The Killer Lead”, killing the defence!

 

North Deals
E-W Vul
J 10 8 5 4 2
6 3
J 8 2
J 4
9
7
K 10 7 6 5
K 10 9 8 5 3
 
N
W   E
S
 
K 7
9 8 5 4
A Q 9 4 3
A 6
 
A Q 6 3
A K Q J 10 2
Q 7 2
West North East South
  Pass 1  4 
5  Pass Pass 5 
Pass Pass Dbl All pass

 

Has there ever been a more unfortunate lead? On the lead of either red suit, South will be stuck in their own hand and will have to concede three black suit tricks. A club lead will enable the defence to score a third- round club ruff for down 2. Yet, after the spade lead and the drawing of trumps, South kindly gave the defence one club trick at the end.

The defence murdered at trick one! 

Now, Grant Jarvis was not involved in the above proceedings. In case you are interested, he and his partner, Ken Yule, were pushed to 5Spade-small and lost the contract and 11 imps when their opponents rested in a comfortable making 4Spade-small. Spades? Whoever mentioned that suit?

Yet, spades were not on the agenda when Grant and Ken got together on the following board.

Grant opened 1Diamond-small and Ken bid 1Heart-small. All pretty easy so far.

Grant rebid his diamonds at the 2 level. Ken was not content and bid 2Heart-small.

“One two, that will do” was not in Grant’s vocabulary and he bid 3Diamond-small!

Was the air getting thicker because Ken was not yet finished. 3Heart-small!

Grant had met his match and he knew it! Just to recap.

West                          East

Grant                         Ken

1Diamond-small                               1Heart-small

 2Diamond-small                              2Heart-small

3Diamond-small                               3Heart-small

Pass

So, who was right? Is your money on our Emerald Grand Master, Grant, or a mere Gold Grand Master, Ken?

you are right.jpg

 Grant would have to admit!

 

South Deals
E-W Vul
Q J 10
A 4
Q 10 8 3
A 9 8 6
A 8 5
5
A K J 7 5 4
7 3 2
 
N
W   E
S
 
7 6 4 3
K Q J 10 9 6 2
Q 10
 
K 9 2
8 7 3
9 6 2
K J 5 4

 All smiles after their bidding argument

Ken Yule .jpg   Grant Jarvis   smiling (2).JPG
Ken Yule        Grant Jarvis

Against 3Heart-small, the defence can only ever take a maximum three black suit tricks and the Heart-smallA. How close then was Grant to making 3Diamond-small? It is true that there are 8 tricks for the declarer in diamonds…but only if the declarer is in the North or South seats!

I can report that the “red suit argument” was carried out without a flicker of emotion. As you can see, Grant is not always right. He took a bit of persuading on the above deal but was happy to record +140 rather the – 200 his 3Diamond-small would have produced… and as you might expect, Grant and Ken, ably helped by GeO Tislevoll and Nick Jacob, and with few arguments, went on to win this Teams event.

Jan’s Day: Whose Side are you on, partner?

     
North Deals
E-W Vul
 
N
W   E
S
   
 
A K J 10 8 7 3
K
A K J 10 2
West North East South
  3  Pass ?

Well, what say you?

Richard Solomon

 

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