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Tony Sowter

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Answer to question 1

Given that East has bid 2♣, it seems clear that West only has two clubs so if you idly ruff with say the 6, West will over-ruff and you will have reduced an obvious 9 tricks to just 8. If you ruff with the HJ and West has the queen you will still only make 8 tricks.

I decided to avoid this problem by discarding the ♠9. Admittedly, East had made three club tricks but the defence could only come to one more trick. +140 was a fair score but my partner was not very happy.

Why? This is the full deal:

Well consider what would have happened if I had discarded a diamond instead. East correctly switches to spades, I can draw trumps, ruff a diamond, and cross back to the9, to cash the 10 to make 10 tricks. Worse still, if I just draw one round of trumps, I would have been able to ruff two diamonds and still make 10 tricks had East had 3 diamonds.

Note that if you ruffed the ♣9 with the J you would also have made 10 tricks because you would have been able to lead up to the Q to establish a discard before the defence had established their spade trick. But this would have been lucky, risking making only 8 tricks if West had the Q.

My play was sloppy. Yes, I would have made 10 tricks had the K been singleton, but finding East with either
KJ or KJx is a much more likely route to 10 tricks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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