What might have been by Roger Lord

Here is a more in-depth look at two very interesting deals.

Love All. Dealer North.


NORTH
S A J
H A 10 7 4
D 4 2
WEST C A K 10 5 2 EAST
S 9 5 4 2 S 10 6
H Q J 8 6 5 H 9 3
D Q 5 D J 10 9 8 7
C 4 3 C Q J 7 6
SOUTH
S K Q 8 7 3
H K 2
D A K 6 3
C 9 8
Open room
WEST NORTH EAST SOUTH
Lasocki Rosenberg Gawrys Bates
1NT Pass 2H (1)
Pass 2S Pass 3D
Pass 3NT Pass 4NT
Pass 6C All Pass

Closed room
WEST NORTH EAST SOUTH
Martel Zmud ski Stansby Balicki
1C (1) 2D Dbl (2)
Pass 3C Pass 3S
Pass 4H Pass 5D
Pass 5S Pass 6NT
All Pass
(1) 10-12 balanced or 18-plus.
(2) Positive response.

6NT failed by two in the closed room, although commentators spotted the squeeze in clubs and diamonds against East which should have made it. 6C was down one in the open room. The commentators had time during the bidding to conjecture on 6S, which they quickly dismissed. 6S could have been made on a trump endplay.
Supposed West does not make it easy -- he leads something other than a heart. On a minor-suit lead, South can cash four minor-suit winners, play the HK, the HA and a third heart. East can ruff with the S10, which South overruffs with the queen. Now a diamond is ruffed in dummy and a fourth heart is ruffed by East with the 6 and overruffed by South with the 7.
South ruffs the four diamond and, at trick 11, leads a club and ruffs with the 3. West overruffs but must lead away from his S9 into declarer s SK 8.
Only a trump lead would threaten the trump endplay. North s jack wins, four minor-suit winners are cashed, the top hearts are cashed and a heart is ruffed by East s 10 and overruffed with the queen. A diamond is ruffed in dummy and a fourth heart is ruffed with the 7. At trick 11, South leads his fourth diamond. West ruffs but must lead into declarer s SK 8 or must he?
To defeat the slam, West must ruff South s low diamond lead at trick 9. By this gambit, West retains a heart, which he can play on South s fourth diamond lead at trick 11, allowing East to win and lead to trick 12. South s SK 8 now loses a trick to West s 9-5.


This was another key deal in the match.
Game All. Dealer West.


NORTH
S A 10 8 6
H A K J 10 5 3
D --
WEST C Q 3 2 EAST
S 9 4 S K 7 5 2
H 9 7 2 H Q 6 4
D A 10 6 3 D K J 2
C K J 8 7 C A 6 4
SOUTH
S Q J 3
H 8
D Q 9 8 7 5 4
C 10 9 5
Closed room
WEST NORTH EAST SOUTH
Martel Zmud ski Stansby Balicki
Pass 1H Pass Pass
Pass
Zmudzinski took eight tricks for plus 110.

Open room
WEST NORTH EAST SOUTH
Lasocki Rosenberg Gawrys Bates
Pass 1H Dbl Pass
2D 2H Pass Pass
3C Pass 3D Dbl
All Pass

The actual play: North led the HA and HK (South discarding a club) and a third heart was ruffed. The SQ was returned to North s ace. Trick five was a fourth round of hearts, which declarer ruffed with the jack, overruffed by the queen and then
overruffed by the ace. A subsequent club finesse lost to the queen and doomed declarer to three down.
A better try: ruffing the fourth heart with the deuce. It may appear that declarer could go down one. If South overruffs with the 7, West overruffs with the 10, plays a spade to the king, cashes the CK and CA, leads a spade and overruffs South s 8 with the ace, and exits with a club for a trump endplay into the DK J.
South, however, can the attempt by allowing the D2 to win at trick five, discarding a second club. Declarer would be held to seven tricks: one spade, one club, the heart ruff in dummy and four more diamond tricks.
The best play at trick five is for declarer to pitch a club from dummy and ruff in his hand. On this play, South has a choice of ruffing with the 7 to force the 10 or of discarding a second club. Neither option succeeds in winning more than one further trick.
South s option 1: South ruffs with the D7, West overruffs with the 10 and plays a spade to the king and ruffs a spade. Now he plays the CK and CA and the last spade is ruffed by South with the 8 and overruffed with the ace. At trick 11, a club is ruffed with dummy s 2 -- South must overruff and lead into the DK J.
South s option 2: South discards a club. Declarer ruffs low, plays a spade to the king, ruffs a spade, plays a club to the ace and leads dummy s fourth spade, overruffing South s intermediate trump. Then West cashes his high trump and exits with a club, which South must ruff, conceding the last two tricks to the DK J.