Sunday Night Question

This Sunday, one of the Girls from the France Girl’s Team contacted me at the end of the Channel Trophy(*). I already thought that Garance was going to tell me about the deal where she went down in 6 no-trump.

(*) The Junior Channel Trophy is an annual competition between the countries neighboring the Channel: Belgium, England, France and the Netherlands.

But I prefer for her to bring up the subject and that’s exactly what she does.

Garance: “Isabelle and I bid to 6NT on this deal. Of course, we went down even though we had 34 points in our combined hands.”

Me: “Well, the auction is perfect and it’s absolutely normal to play in 6 NoTrump with these two hands.”

Her: “It’s just – I didn’t know how to go about this contract. West led the Diamond 10 and East followed with the 2 while I won with the Queen. I thought long and hard about whether to start with Hearts or Clubs.”

Me: “Yes, I know. I saw you play that deal.”

Her: “In that case, you saw that I started with a small Club from both hands. The problem with Hearts is that I have no external communication that would allow me to first cash the Queen and Jack and then cross to dummy to get three more Heart tricks. This means all I can do is overtake my second Heart with dummy’s Ace and then I need Hearts to break 3-3. If they don’t, I set up a Heart for the defense and therefore I can’t fall back on Clubs in case of Hearts splitting badly.”

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  1. I’ve used this approach before and it is really nice. if they take the trick, you just have obtained a dummy entry. If they don’t, well, that’s what happened here, and you still have the suit stopped. It appears counterintuitive to lead a queen, but keep that in your arsenal.

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