A Helness Throw-In

by Knut Kjaernsroed

 

Tor Helness read the cards well to land his somewhat shaky 3NT contract.

 

                                               S   K 8 7 6 5

                                               H  T 2

                                               D  Q T 9 5

                                               C  K 2

 

                        S   A 9                                    S   Q J 2

                        H  J 9 8 7                               H  A 6 5

                        D  J 6 4                                  D  A K 3

                        C  A 8 7 6                               C  Q J 5 3

 

                                               S  T 4 3

                                               H  K Q 4 3

                                               D  8 7 2

                                               C  T 9 4

 

He was East and the auction was simple:

 

          WEST              NORTH                     EAST               SOUTH

           -                                    -                     -                        Pass

          Pass                  Pass                            1NT                 Pass

          2C                     Pass                            2D                    Pass

          3NT                  All Pass

 

A spade lead would have beaten the game, but South started with the C10 which was ducked to North's king. He continued with a spade to the queen and Tor ducked a heart to South's queen. The SA was driven out, and Helness took his club tricks. Before the last one, this was the position:

 

 

                                               S   K 8 7

                                               H  T

                                               D  Q T 9

                                               C  --

 

                        S  --                                        S   J

                        H  J 9 8                                  H  A 6

                        D  J 6 4                                  D  A K 3

                        C  8                                        C  Q

 

                                               S  T

                                               H  K 4 3

                                               D  8 7 2

                                               C  --

 

 

On the CQ North had to discard a spade. Helness then removed North's exit card with the HA and threw him in with the SJ. North could collect his two tricks but then had to lead away from the DQ.

 

 

 

 

A Helness Squeeze

by Knut Kjaernsroed (Norway)

 

In a previous article I showed how Tor Helness of Norway executed a throw in, and it seems right to complete the picture by showing a squeeze by the same man.

 

Love All. Dealer East.

 

                                   S  A T 9 7 4 2

                                   H  K 6

                                   D  4

                                   C  A K 9 7

 

           S  K 8                                                  S   6 3

           H  9 4                                                  H  Q 8 7 5 2

           D  A 9 8 7 6 5 3 2                               D  K T

           C  5                                                     C  Q J 4 3

 

                                   S  Q J 5

                                   H  A J T 3

                                   D  Q J

                                   C  T 8 6 2

 

          WEST                NORTH                    EAST             SOUTH

        Meckstroth          Helness                   Rodwell          Helgemo

           -                          -                                Pass               1H

          3D                       3S                             Pass                4S

          Pass                    4NT                          Pass                5D

          Pass                     5S                            All Pass

 

Helness can hardly be blamed for making a slam try after his partner's opening, but he must have been rather disappointed to discover that three of Helgemo's points were the queen and knave of diamonds. Rodwell led the king of diamonds and continued the suit, ruffed. Communications between the hands were not too good, and after pondering for a while Helness decided to lay down the ace of spades and played another spade to Meckstroth's king. He won the club continuation with the ace , laid down the king of clubs and played all his trumps. Before the last one this was the position:

 

                                   S  T

                                   H  K 6

                                   D  --

                                   C  9 7

 

           S  --                                         S  --

           H  9 4                                      H  Q 8 7 5

           D  9 8 7                                   D  --

           C  --                                         C  Q

 

                                   S  --

                                   H  A J T 3

                                   D  --

                                   C  T

 

On the last trump Rodwell was squeezed out of his fourth heart and Tor duly landed his contract with the heart king and a heart to the ten.

 

An equally interesting position would have arrived had he entered dummy with the ace of hearts and taken the spade finesse. On the run of the trumps this position would have arisen:

 

                                   S   T

                                   H  K

                                   D  --

                                   C  A K 9 7

 

           S  --                                         S  --

           H  9                                         H  Q 8

           D  9 8 7 6 5                             D  --

           C  --                                         C  Q J 4 3

 

                                   S  --

                                   H  J T

                                   D  --

                                   C  T 8 6 2

 

On the last trump, East is in a hopeless state. If he discards one of his clubs, Helness can simply establish his fourth club, and if Rodwell lets his H8 go, Tor can cash the king of hearts and play ace and another club. East would be forced to lead away from his second club honour and give an entry to the established hearts.