Saturday, August 6, 2011

Jennbridge: One To Lose Sleep Over

Jenn and I were retired from the Spingold early and were kibitzing the Nickell-Levine Spingold match. Levine had a small lead going into Board 63, the penultimate board.

South Deals
Both Vul
♠ Q
Q 8 6
10 8 5 3 2
♣ A 10 5 4
♠ A K J 9 8 4 3
J 7 3

♣ 9 6 3
♠ 10 7 6 5
10 5
Q J 7 6 4
♣ J 2
♠ 2
A K 9 4 2
A K 9
♣ K Q 8 7
Bob HammanD ClerkinZia MahmoodJ Clerkin
3 ♠Dbl4 ♠4 NT
Pass5 NTPass6
Pass6 All pass

Opening lead: Spade Ace (after considerable thought). Then Zia led the 9 of clubs to trick 2.

I'm not sure what the 4NT and 5NT bids meant, but they ended up in a playable spot. When Zia took quite a while before making his opening lead, this might have alerted declarer to the possiibilty of LHO holding a void, else why would he have a problem leading the ace of spades? Perhaps an inference could have been drawn that he was considering an underlead to his partner for a diamond ruff.

Declarer won the club in his hand and played the ace of hearts, getting only small cards. He had a choice of playing for LHO to have a stiff diamond honor or playing RHO for both honors. He chose, correctly, to play RHO for both. To do this, he needed two entries to dummy and a 3-2 heart split. But instead of playing the king of hearts and another heart to the queen, declarer inexplicably played to the heart queen without first cashing the king, and when he led a diamond to his 9, Zia ruffed it and down went the slam and the match along with it. At the other table the result was 5S doubled down 2 for -500. So instead of winning 14 IMP for making the slam, Levine instead lost 11 for a 25-IMP swing. That's a tough one that will haunt the Levine team for a long time.

Good luck!  (By Bob Klein)

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