presents     Professor IMP's Weekly    Master Class  #8        To Prof. IMP Index

Prof IMP 
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'The main task'
Professor IMP's attention was caught by one particular hand that had been played in the third heat of this year's ING Topbank Circuit.

AQJ53 QJ105 Q63 3

'You are the dealer as East. Red against white you open 1. The opponent on your left jumps to 4 and it goes Pass, Pass,' the Professor addressed one of his students. 'Now what?'
'As we are playing negative doubles in this situation, I believe I have the right hand for a reopening double. Partner might still have a good defensive hand against clubs,' was the reply.
'True,' Professor IMP agreed, 'in fact, your Double ends the auction.'
The 2 (3rd/5th) was led and dummy appeared:
 

- 
E/EW 9 8 4  dummy 
A K 4 2 
A K 8 7 5 2 
 
  ---
A Q J 5 3 
Q J 10 5 
Q 6 3 
3
e
  
- 
WEST 
- 
Pass 
Pass
NORTH 
-- 
 Pass 
Pass 
EAST 
1 
Double- 
 
 
SOUTH 
4 
Pass 
 
 
 
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'It appears to me that North has the strongest hand at the table and that South has the most trumps by far.'
'Don't try to be facetious, young man. Just defend the hand correctly.'
After a little while, the student came up with a plan.
'I take the A and continue with the Queen. My partner might well have started with King-third in spades. I don't want declarer to pitch his second spade on a red suit. After cashing our two spade tricks I hope and pray that partner possesses at least two trump tricks. '
'Well, let's see what happens if you play a spade at trick two.' The Professor now showed the full deal:
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- 
E/EW 9 8 4 
A K 4 2 
A K 8 7 5 2 
  10 6 2 
  9 8 7 6 
  J 10 
  K Q 9 7
A Q J 5 3 
Q J 10 5 
Q 6 3 
3
e K 7 

9 4 
A J 10 8 6 5 4 2
 
- 
 
 
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'Declarer wins the King, plays a heart to the Ace, ruffs a heart, crosses to dummy with a diamond, ruffs another heart, re-enters dummy again with a diamond, ruffs the K and leads the J. West takes with the Q, the second trick for the defense, and exits with the 10 in this position:
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- 
E/EW

8 7 5 
  10 
 
 
  K 9 7
J 5 3 


-
e


A 10 8 6
 
- 
 
 
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'Declarer ruffs with the six, continues with a low club and West is endplayed. Ten tricks.'
'Could this throw-in have been avoided?', the student asked.
'Yes, young man. Play a club at trick two and the defense will prevail.'
'But how was I to know that the K was in declarer's hand and not partner's?'
‘No guarantees, but with King-third of spades partner might well have bid 4 after your double. Moreover, with two small spades declarer would indeed get rid of his second spade, but he would still goone down. You simply can't take the risk. The main defensive task is always to defeat the contract.'

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