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Missed Kiss (Le Bridgeur Magazine No.908)

 

Article written by Jérôme Rombaut and published in the french magazine Le Bridgeur No.908 (March/April 2017)

1,100 teams competed in the Team Championship in 2017. Teams are split into 6 divisions. Their objective is to avoid relegation and to go up at the end of each month.

I am lucky to have several good players in my team: Vanessa Réess, Anne-Laure Huberschwiller, Frédéric Volcker, Thomas Bessis and Pierre Franceschetti. We earned a few points on the deal below.
 

S K Q
H K 7 6 3
D 6 4 3
C A 10 8 5

 
East opens 1H. With no other bid made by the opponents, the final contract becomes 3NT in South.
 

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

 
What do you play on the heart 4 lead to the Jack and Queen? Think it through.  The heart 4 is necessarily bare since the 2 and 3 are visible. The defending side doesn’t communicate. You will have to play Diamonds but avoid putting East back on lead if you want to win. Your main chance is that West holds three diamond cards.

Don’t duck the first round of Hearts (we will see why later) and try to “kiss the Queen”* in West, i.e. play twice to diamond Ace-King to win if the Queen is second in LHO’s hand as well.

The full deal was:
 

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

 
Did you realise why ducking the first round of Hearts would be fatal? That is what most players did spontaneously. But Argine game engine found the appropriate defensive play, playing the heart Ace and another Heart. West took this opportunity to discard his diamond Queen. Establishing diamonds was thus impossible without putting East back on lead!

*Expression used by Bertrand Romanet to describe a hold-up play with the aim of establishing a suit while avoiding to give the lead to the dangerous opponent.
dennis
dennis

The contract cannot be made, with best defence. East should win the HA, return HQ, so west can discard DQ.

Raghavan S
Raghavan S

The contract was a goner once the heart is led, East takes Ace, follows with the Queen on seeing the Jack in dummy and continues till South takes the trick with King and west dutifully drops DQ on HK!

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