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Emergency exit (Le Bridgeur Magazine n°884 – June 2014)

jerome750_en

Article written by Jérôme Rombaut and published in the French magazine Le Bridgeur n° 884 on 15 June 2014.

Bad news suddenly put your contract in danger? Keep your cool and look for the emergency exit.

The deal of this month is taken from the mixed teams-of-four final, but in the Excellence category, opposing the Zimmermann Team to the Allix Team (mine).

Here are South’s hand and the beginning of the sequence (none vulnerable):

S K 5 
H A 4
D K 6 2
C A K 10 9 8 2

 

SWNE
PASSPASS3H
?

 

Here you must absolutely bid the 3NT contract because it is by far the game with the best chance of success. 3NT becomes the final contract and you receive the lead of the heart jack. You take with the ace and you get shocked when you play the club ace as East discards. What to do next?

 

S Q 10 8 4 2
H K 6 5
D A 8
C 7 6 3
NSEO_en
S K 5
H A 4
D K 6 2
C A K 10 9 8 2

 

The best play is the Morton’s Fork Coup in spades on the basis that West is favourite to be longer in spades than East. Play the spade 5. If dummy’s queen takes the trick, go back to setting up the clubs. If West hurries to play his ace and counterattacks in diamonds, take with the king, unblock the spade king, create an entry to dummy’s heart king and cash the spade queen. (You would play spades again if West had four spades and you would play the diamond ace and use the hold-up play in clubs if he had two.)

Of course, you end up in a less favourable situation if East takes with the ace and counterattacks in diamonds. You take with the king, then you play spade king, hearts to the king and spades, hoping that you will set up the suit without giving the lead back to East (9763, Jxx or J763 in West).

Here are the four hands:

S Q 10 8 4 2
H K 6 5
D A 8
C 7 6 3
S A 9 6 3
H J
D Q 10 4 3
C Q V 5 4
NSEO_enS  J 7
H Q 10 9 8 7 3 2 
D J 9 7 5
C –
S K 5
H A 4
D K 6 2
C A K 10 9 8 2