A rare Norwegian bird by Jon Sveindal (Norway)
It sometimes happens that two declarers find a nice play on the same board in a match, but usually they will be playing
the same direction. This board saw two Norwegian declarers find ways to land their contracts.
Game All. Dealer West.
S T2 S AQJ3
H A9762 H KT8
D J65 D 2
C K87 C QJT63
West North East South
Pass Pass 1C 1D
1H 3D All Pass
Lead: C 7
The 3D bid, made by Tor Bakke, certainly made it difficult for the opposition to do anything but pass, but still, it looks as if Jim Hyland in the declarer's seat had a lot of work to do.
The Ace of clubs won the first trick and Jim immediately lead a spade off the dummy. East went up with the Ace and continued with a club, ruffed by South, West unblocking the King. The King of spades and another followed and West threw his last club.
By now, the junior of the three expert brothers, knew how the suits were distributed, so, when East played the Jack of clubs, Jim ruffed with the Queen. His last spade was ruffed and dummy's last club was ruffed with the King. The ten of diamonds was successfully run, a diamond to the nine and the Ace of trumps, saw him home with a total of nine tricks.
At the other table, the elder Maesel brother was allowed to play 3C, a contract looking a bit fragile after repeated
diamond leads, due to the unfriendly club split.
South wisely started the diamond King and continued with the Queen. Helge played the Jack of clubs, which held the trick. He then played a heart to the Ace and let the ten of spades ride to South's King. Had South continued with a diamond, East would have ruffed, taken two spade tricks, cashed the king of hearts, and ruffed his last spade with the King of clubs.
One trick in each suit would be all for the defenders. But South played a heart to the Jack and King. Not knowing the club distribution, Helge continued with the Queen of clubs. North had no answer. If he won the Ace and returned the DA, East would just throw his losing heart!
Alternatively, he could ruff low, cash two spades, and ruff the last one with the King of clubs. North actually played low and Helge then cashed two high spades, ruffed the last one with the King - and again, North was helpless. A total of 18 tricks to Norway in minor denominations was less than a major success, but still worth 6 imps.