Double tough


Shireen Mohandes and Andy Bowles of London didn't come all the way to Orlando to drop tricks in the Life Master Open Pairs. On this deal , Mohandes showed that she can be as greedy as the next person when it comes to matchpoints.


                          Dlr: West, Vul: N-S


                            S  7 5

                            H  Q 9 6 2

                            D  Q 9 4

                            C  Q 8 7 2

            S  A Q 10 9                      S  6

            H  8 3                           H  A K J 5

            D  A K 8 2                       D  J 5 3

            C  J 6 3                         C  A K 10 9 5

                            S  K J 8 4 3 2

                            H  10 7 4

                            D  10 7 6

                            C  4


           WEST         NORTH         EAST         SOUTH

         Mohandes        -            Bowles        -

           1S           Pass          2C           Pass

           2D           Pass          3H           Pass

           3NT          All Pass


North led a low heart and Mohandes won the trick with dummy's jack. She cashed the CA and played a diamond to her ace to advance the CJ, ducked by North. A third round of clubs went to the 10 and a spade was played to the queen. Next came the top two hearts, then the CK. This was the position with three tricks to go:


                            S  --

                            H  Q

                            D  Q 9

                            C  ---

                S  10                     S  ---

                H  ---                    H  5

                D  K 8                    D  J

                C  ---                    C  5

                            S  K

                            H  ---

                            D  10 7

                            C  ---


When Mohandes played the C5, South had to hold onto the SK, so he let go of a diamond. Mohandes discarded the S10 and it was North's turn to squirm. A heart discard would make dummy's 5 good, so he too was forced to part with a diamond. Mohandes then overtook dummy's DJ and won trick 13 with the D8. Plus 520 on the double squeeze was only average on a 51 top -- many pairs bid and made slam on the East-West cards -- but Mohandes gained 11.5 matchpoints for making the overtrick


Advantage, Nickell


Too bad Nick Nickell didn't know how well he was going to play this deal. If he had known, he could have bid more. Nickell was playing with Richard Freeman.


                         Dlr: South, Vul: Both


                            S  K 10 2

                            H  A J 9 3 2

                            D  J 3

                            C  J 4 2

          S  A 9 7 4                        S  Q 6

          H  K                              H  10 6 5 4

          D  K Q 9 7 6 5 4                  D  A

          C  6                              C  A Q 10 8 7 5

                            S  J 8 5 3

                            H  Q 8 7

                            D  10 8 2

                            C  K 9 3


           WEST         NORTH         EAST         SOUTH

          Nickell        -           Freeman        -

            -            -             -           Pass

           1D           1H            2C           Pass

           2D           Pass          2H           Dbl

           2S           Pass          3C           Pass

           3D           All Pass


Nickell and Freeman did well in the auction to reach the correct spot, then Nickell achieved a spectacular result to put the icing on the cake.

5D has little play, and Freeman judged well to stop in 3D. North, seemingly persuaded by his partner's double of the 2H cuebid, started with an intellectual low heart, and Nickell's HK scored at trick one. When Nickell led a spade towards dummy's queen, North grabbed the king and failed to find the club shift. Instead he tried to cash the HA. Nickell ruffed, crossed to the SQ, unblocked the DA and ruffed a heart. Next came a bunch of diamonds. With four tricks to go, this was

the position:

                            S  10

                            H  J

                            D  ---

                            C  J 4

                S  A 9