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Less Is More (Le Bridgeur Magazine No. 915)

2017 World Vice-Champion Jérôme Rombaut writes a column in the French magazine “Le Bridgeur” every two months. In the article below, published in issue 915 of the magazine (May/June 2018), Jérôme analyses a deal played by Marcello Dadon and Blandine de Hérédia during the 2018 league final of the Excellence Mixed Fours of the France Championships, held in Val de Seine.

Jérôme Rombaut, vice-champion du monde 2017 écrit une rubrique dans le magazine Le Bridgeur tous les deux mois. Dans l’article ci-dessous, paru dans le n°915 de mai/juin 2018, Jérôme analyse une donne jouée par Marcello Dadon et Blandine de Hérédia lors de la finale de ligue du quatre mixte Excellence 2018 (Championnat de France), dans le Val de Seine.

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Today I would like to analyse a deal particularly well played by Marcello Dadon (vs. Blandine de Hérédia) during the 2018 league final of the Excellence Mixed Fours held in Val de Seine.

East opens weak 2♥ (game all) and the final contract is 6♦ played by South.

West leads the 9 of Hearts and the dummy spreads his hand

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

The opponent takes the King with the Ace of Hearts and continues with the 9 of Spades. The contract is not very good but it is not hopeless. Anyway, you will have to find the Queen of Diamonds onside to win. It seems unlikely that the opponent underplayed the Queen of Spades as his return is rather reminiscent of a singleton or a doubleton.

Can you start seeing the winning line of play now?

You could try to ruff three Diamonds in dummy but this also requires (on top of the Queen of Diamonds onside) that you can cross to your hand twice to ruff and a third time to draw the remaining trumps.

So you would have to be able to cash the Ace-King-Queen of Clubs and cross to your hand with the King of Spades too. It is dangerous since with six cards in Hearts, the weak 2 opener will often hold a singleton spade or a doubleton club. In fact, these conditions don’t need to be met. As Marcello did, ruff two Hearts only and put pressure on West: spade to your Ace, ruffed heart, diamond to your 9, ruffed heart and Ace-King of Diamonds. At this stage, all you have to do is cash the King of Spades before drawing the last trump and West will be squeezed in the black suits.

The full deal

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

Visit our “Let’s talk about bridge” section if you want to read more deals analysis.

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