DUCK ENTREE
                                      by Tony Gordon, Great Britain

There was an amusing twist to the following hand from the second day's play in the Rosenblum round-robin.

Game All. Dealer West.
                             NORTH
                             S KQT
                            
H QJT
                             D T932
                            
C J43
          WEST                                 EAST
          S AJ76                               S 9842
          H K9874                              H 652
          D K74                                D Q65
          C 9                                  C QT2
                             SOUTH
                             S 53
                             H A3
                            
D AJ8
                             C AK8765
 

WEST      NORTH     EAST      SOUTH
1H        Pass      Pass      Dbl
Pass      1NT       Pass      3NT
All Pass

In one room North became declarer in 3NT, East led his partner's suit and declarer
ducked in dummy. Since North was marked with the HQ and would have nine tricks
available if he could run the club suit, West won the HK and switched to spades. This
did not cause declarer any problems as you can see. He won with the SK and cashed
the top clubs. When the suit failed to break 2-2, he unblocked the HA and exited with a
club. The defense then had to provide him with a ninth trick.

"Would it not have been better to continue hearts?" asked East. "Then I can clear the
suit when I win my club trick and when you win the SA you can cash two heart
tricks."

"I don't think so," said North, before West could reply. "If you continue hearts,  I will
cross to the CA and play a spade to establish my ninth trick."

As the others mulled this over, the hitherto silent South spotted the solution. "The
winning defense is to duck the first heart," he said, and after a few minutes thought
the others had to agree he was correct.

When N-S went back to score up, they found their partners had scored +100 for
defeating 3NT by one trick on this board. "Well defended," they said to West, but he
was clearly puzzled by this accolade. "South played the contract and I simply led from
my long suit," he said. His team-mates smiled at each other. "Next board," they said, in
unison.

 

                                 AN EXTRA CHANCE
                                      by Tony Gordon, Great Britain

The following hand was well bid and played by the Leighton brothers in the stratified Pairs.

Love All. Dealer South.
                             NORTH
                             S 53
                             H 942
                            
D K6
                             C J98542

                 
WEST                    EAST
                  S AQ9764                S KT8
                 
H Q6                    H AK87
                  D AQ85                  D T72
                 
C 6                     C AT3

                             SOUTH
                             S J2
                            
H JT53
                             D J943
                            
C KQ7

WEST      NORTH     EAST      SOUTH
Cecil L.            Morris L.
                              Pass     
1S (1)    Pass      2C (2)    Pass     
3D (3)    Pass      3S        Pass
4D (4)    Pass      6S (5)    All Pass

(1) Precision - 5 card major
(2) Temporising
(3) 14/15 with 4+ diamonds
(4) Cuebid
(5) Must have play

The bidding left Cecil Leighton at the helm of the small slam and he received the lead
of the H4. The contract appeared to depend on a favorable lie in the diamond suit, but
Cecil noted that if trumps broke 2-2 there were elimination possibilities. Since dummy
lacked sufficient entries for him to ruff two clubs and a heart and lead towards his
diamonds in the end position, he could not completely eliminate the hand, but eliminating
clubs would considerably improve his chances. Accordingly, he won the first trick in
hand with the HQ and played CA and a club ruff. Two rounds of trumps finishing in the
dummy brought the good news in that suit and a second club ruff followed. All that
remained was to cash dummy's two top hearts and lead a diamond and cover South's
card.

As the cards lay, the partial elimination was successful and North was endplayed, but
even if he had held the last heart, there was still the diamond finesse to fall back on.