Source:  IBPA Column Service JUN 2021

Brian Senior
Brian Senior

wikipedia: Brian R. Senior (born 1953) is a professional bridge player and writer from Nottingham. He has represented Great Britain, England, Northern Ireland and Ireland in international competition and has won all the major English Bridge Union teams competitions. Senior is also the editor and publisher of the annual official world championship book, under World Bridge Federation auspices

Senior played once in the World Team Olympiad, on the Ireland open team in 1988, which finished 15–16th in a field of 56. Since 23 August 2019, Senior has been Saturday bridge columnist for The Daily Telegraph.

Eric Rodwell, as declarer, and Geir Helgemo, as a defender, combined brilliantly on this deal to earn their team an 11-IMP swing.

IMPs Dealer East, E/W Vul

8 5 2
J 9 3
K J 5 3 2
5 2
6
A 8 6 4
9 8 7 6 4
10 7 3
A J 10 7 4
Q 10
Q
Q J 9 8 4
K Q 9 3
K 7 5 2
A 10
A K 6
West North East South
Dobrescu Meckstroth Greenberg Rodwell
Helness Koeppel Helgemo Tokay
1 Dbl
Pass 2 Pass 2NT
Pass 3NT End

Dobrescu led the 6, Greenberg winning with the ace and switching to the queen of clubs. Rodwell won that and, looking for alternatives to relying on diamonds coming in to provide nine tricks, tried a heart to the nine, losing to the ten. Greenberg continued the club attack, leading the jack. Rodwell ducked, but won the next club, perforce. Then he cashed the ace of diamonds and the queen appeared on his right.

To succeed from here, he needed the ace of hearts to be in the hand with the short clubs, as the diamonds were blocked and, otherwise, the defence would have too many winners to cash. So Rodwell cashed the king and queen of spades, West discarding a heart, followed by a diamond. Rodwell discarded a diamond from dummy as Dobrescu had kept a stopper in the suit. Then declarer played the 10 and allowed it to hold the trick. Finally came the coup de grâce: Rodwell played the king of hearts and there was nothing Dobrescu, could do. If she had won with the ace, she would have had to return a red suit to dummy’s winners while, if she ducked, she would only delay her fate by one trick, being thrown in with the next heart play. Rodwell had two spades, two clubs, one heart and four diamonds for plus 400.

Meanwhile, Helness/Helgemo were defending the same contract at the other table, and again they started with a spade to the ace and a switch to the queen of clubs. Tokay ducked the first club so Helgemo continued with the four of clubs. Declarer won with the ace and made the same good play of a heart to the nine and ten. Helgemo, however, didn’t set up his clubs, instead returning the seven of spades as though that suit offered the defence’s only hope. Tokay put in the nine and, when that held, cashed the king of clubs, on which Helgemo dropped the jack. Next he cashed the ace of diamonds and saw Helgemo’s queen.

What now?

It appeared that Helness had the club length and Helgemo the ace of hearts, else why had the clubs not been established? So Tokay overtook the ten of diamonds with the jack and cashed the king, discarding a heart, while Helgemo discarded a spade. Finally, he led the three of hearts to the queen, king and ace, and found Helness cashing two diamonds to defeat the contract by two tricks; minus 100 and 11 IMPs.

It was a fine team effort by the two LEVINE pairs.

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