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The rule of thirty
When you can deduce partner has a void in a suit in which you have no wasted honors, you are playing with a 30-point pack – the 10 points the opponents hold in that suit will take no tricks on defense. The sky’s the limit. Take this deal from the 2019 European Champions’ Cup :
(1) The lack of seventh spade made up for by the six-four shape with decent suits, and the favorable vulnerability.
(2) Take-out, showing Hearts.
(3) Assuming East-West have nine Spades for their spirited bidding in the suit, partner
must be void. His side will be playing with a 30-point pack. Further, there is a ninth trump, invaluable in such situations.
Plan the play in 6 Hearts on the King of Spades lead which you ruff. The main question is how many rounds of trumps to draw. Two declarers opted for one round. They crossed to the Ace of Hearts then, expecting East to have the Club length given West’s preempt, ran the 9, losing to West’s Jack.
All would have been well if West has returned a second Spade (or a Club). However, West switched to a Diamond and declarer could not unravel his winners. He won dummy’s King, led a second Club to the Queen, the finesse winning.
He cashed the King of Hearts, hoping for a 2-2 split (West throwing a Spade), then cashed the Ace of Clubs, hoping for a 3-3 split (West throwing another Spade, dummy also throwing a Spade). He ruffed a Club but could do no better than draw East’s last trump (drawing his own) and cross to the Ace of Diamonds to cash the fifth Club. He had to lose a trick at the end – one down.
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