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The Difficult we do Today, the Impossible takes a little longer

The Difficult we do Today, the Impossible takes a little longer

By In 16th World Bridge Series On 21st August 2022

Some deals are more difficult than others. This was Board 11 from the third round of the McConnell:

The first question is what should South open?
Suppose you start with 2Picche (perhaps questionable when you have this holding and a void on the side). What should North do?
If your answer to that question is to bid 3Fiori then should South raise to 4Fiori, rebid 3Picche or bid 4Cuori (which must be a cue bid agreeing clubs).
Some players might prefer to open 3Picche. Would you then try 4Fiori with North’s cards?
Because a weak two based on a suit headed by the AKQ is a rarity, my vote would go to 1Picche. Were West to pass North responds 2Fiori and South raises to 3Fiori (null point if you prefer to rebid 2Picche). Here West would surely overcall 3Cuori after a 1Picche opening and that leaves North with something to think about. Assuming North doubles would you introduce your emaciated clubs?
On a good day you might take all the tricks with clubs as trumps, but here the 4-1 trump break makes that impossible. However, 6Fiori is excellent, the basic idea being to cash two clubs, play four rounds of spades, ruffing and then cross ruff, eventually scoring the slam going trick en passant with the Fiori9.
Suppose you land in 6Picche and West leads the Fiori10?
You win in dummy and cash three spades West discarding a heart. Now the winning line is to go to dummy with a club, cash the CuoriA pitching a diamond, ruff the CuoriQ, cash dummy’s top diamonds, ruff a diamond, go to dummy with a club and play the {7 scoring the Picche8 en passant. At the one table that reached 6Picche declarer did not find this line, and no-one found a route to 6Fiori.

About the Author

Mark Horton
Mark Horton

Mark Horton British journalist and expert player, was Editor of Bridge Magazine 1995-2017 and now edits the online publication Bridgerama+. At one time, his business cards were inscribed: Have Cards will Travel, but following the death of his most famous sponsor, the Rabbi Leonard Helman, he has tended to concentrate on his writing exploits (in 2018 he had five books published!). Anyone wanting to discover how to lose at bridge on a regular basis (and pay for the privilege) should feel free to contact him. He currently lives in Shrewsbury with his wife Liz.