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Simon Stocken
August 27, 2019 On board 8 of the second session of the U 26 Pairs Final. North-South have 22 combined points but can make only one contract – a one heart contract. An impossible contract to reach when your opponent opens the suit with AQ10xx. Three pairs managed it nevertheless. Rosenberg & Kristensen for USA were held to seven tricks in 2. Likewise Vojtik and Klems for Holland just one level higher and doubled for 300. Could Sau and Percario do one better? At all three tables diamonds were led. What should West switch to next? Board 8  U26 Pairs Final session 2 Love All  Dealer West
A K 9 J 8 5 3 J 4 3 2 A K
10 7 6 A Q 10 6 4 A 10 9 4 3 Q 8 5 4 K Q 10 8 6 5 J 8 7
J 3 2 K 9 7 2 9 7 Q 6 5 2
The auction:
West North East South
Vu  Sau Hung Percario
1 1NT Dbl Pass
Pass Rdbl Pass Pass
2 Pass Pass Double
Pass 2 Double 2
Double All Pass
Lead: A West switched to4 won by5 in dummy. The top clubs were cashed and declarer exited with a diamond to East’s10 who had no alternative but to play a high diamond trumped with K and overtrumped. West playedQ and exited with10 won by dummy’s J. East was now in trouble in the 5-card ending as he led8 off dummy: Love All  Dealer West
A K 9 8 4
10 7 6 6 A 10 Q 8 5 Q 6
J 3 2 Q 6
If East discards a diamond on the final heart, North will endplay him with the diamond to lead away from the Q. As it is he chose to let go a spade and declarer ended up with an overtrick which made precisely zero difference to the matchpoints. So Percario actually managed two better, taking advantage of West’s failure to lead spades at any point in the hand.

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