A well-played hand
On the board below David Birman for Israel, found a very unusual squeeze to bring home a seemingly impossible contract.
Game All. Dealer East.
S Q982 S AJ64
H K982 H AT5
D K742 D AJ5
C Q C A87
Against 4S by East, a low club was led. Dummy's Queen won and declarer continued with the SQ. When you look at it superficially, this may not seem the most logical play. However, though South won the SK, Birman was in full
control of the situation.
A diamond was returned to declarer's Jack, and the DA was continued and ruffed by South. South now tried a heart, which went to the Jack and Ace. Birman ruffed a club, cashed the HK in dummy and played three rounds of trumps, leaving South on lead. This was the position:
S - S -
H 9 H T
D K7 D 5
C - C A
On the forced club return, dummy threw a heart and North was truly squeezed in the red suits. "Thank you partner."
"Sorry partner, there was nothing I could do about it." Contract made.
In the Sweden-Spain match, the same contract was reached, but the auction had been remarkably informative:
West North East South
1C 1S (!)
Dbl Pass Pass 2C
2S Pass 3C Pass
4S Pass Pass Pass
This time, East, by rebidding 3C, showed the strong variation of the multi-way 1C. Note that East first passed on partner's take-out double and later went on to play in a 4-4 fit of which he knew that the outstanding trumps would be stacked against him.
Anders Wirgren won the opening club lead with the Ace and ruffed a club. A heart went to the Ace and the last club was ruffed. A diamond from dummy, was won by the Jack and another heart went to the King. Declarer came off dummy with another diamond, but (as expected) South ruffed.
With only black cards left, South's next move was the S10. This is not best, but a low spade would have made no difference if declarer wins it with dummy's Queen. At the table, East played dummy's SQ to the lead of the S10 and continued the DK. South ruffed this and a few moments later folded his cards. This had been the end position with the defense having scored two tricks:
S 9 S AJ6
H 98 H T
D 7 D -
C - C -
Though declarer still has a heart and a trump loser, there was no way for South to score more than one trick. Please note why it was necessary to have the SQ out of the way in dummy; had she been there at this moment, the trumps are blocked, in which case a trump return will set the contract, as declarer will be forced to create a trump promotion against himself.