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August 26, 2019

Simon Stocken

Session 5,  U26 Swiss Teams  (Sunday am)

The Polish twins, Patrick and Jakob just twenty years old, have been playing bridge half of their life and we can expect to see them for many years to come. This deal demonstrates their skill in defence as they manage an ambitious trump promotion.

Board 2

N/S Vul  Dealer East

10 6 3
Q 9 4
Q 6 2
A 7 4 2
5 2
J 3
J 9 3
Q J 10 9 8 3
K Q J 7
A K 8 7 5 2
10 5
K
A 9 8 4
10 6
A K 8 7 4
6 5

The auction:

West North East South
Duffie  Patreuha P Youngquist Patreuha J
1 Double
1NT* (clubs) Pass 2 Pass
2NT* (clubs) Pass 3 All Pass

The defence started with three rounds of diamonds, dislodging East’s K. Declarer continued with Q, ducked by South and thenK taken by South. South continued the diamond attack with West forced to trump high with8, while North was able to discard 10.

Now dummy leads Q, taken by A and North now played a heart to dummy’s King. Declarer was now locked in dummy and cashedA and played a third heart. Jakob trumped this in an instant with 6, overtrumped by dummy and now Patrick in the North seat had his trump promotion. After forcing declarer to trump three times with high trumps North’s lowly 7 was a master.

Have you spotted it? Duffie had two chances to make the contract while the defence made one significant error. Of course there are 5 easy defensive tricks if the defenders know to play clubs early, thereby removing K and ensuring a third defensive diamond trick. Declarer can also prevail by running North’s heart switch to dummy’s J, thereby avoiding being locked in dummy.

Only those declarers skilled in dentistry would prevail here – once South ducks the first spade, declarer must cash the top hearts and play a third heart – whether South trumps or discards, declarer can extract the offending ‘tooth’ by discarding dummy’s remaining spade.

A fine example of the Dentists Coup. South’s small but significant error was not taking the first spade. Nonetheless a fine defence by the Polish brothers. Youngquist’s chosen line (not to play two rounds of hearts) is based upon South’s probable distribution – she reasoned (correctly) that the double was more likely to be 4153 than 4252, in which case cashing two hearts would have been disastrous with clubs possibly 3-3 all along.

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