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By In 1st IMSA World Masters Championships On 14th May 2019

This deal from the second round appeared to be a bidding test for EW, but at the table I was watching, it also proved to be a defensive problem:

1} 1+Fiori, natural or 12‐14 balanced or 18‐19 balanced or any 1444 (15points can contain 5Quadri)
2NT 18-19

South led the Fiori2 and declarer took North’s king with the ace and played three rounds of hearts ending in dummy. Had the suit divided she would have tried for four tricks in spades. When South discarded on the third round declarer played the QuadriK and South won and played the Fiori4 for two down.

2Fiori 18-19 NT or any game force (not Quadri)
2Picche Transfer to 2NT

For the second time 6Quadri was never in the picture.
South led the Fiori4 and declarer won with the ace and played a diamond to the king. When it held she continued with the queen of diamonds dropping the jack and North pitched the Picche8. When South ducked for a second time declarer changed tack, cashing the top spades, finishing with ten tricks.
I can’t explain why South ducked the second diamond (her partner could hardly have an ace in addition to the FioriK) but could North have done anything to make things even easier?
Assuming the club lead promises an honour, North knows that the defenders can cash four tricks as soon as they get the lead. To alert South to that, maybe North should discard the PiccheQ! That should make it clear to South that she should grab the QuadriA and play clubs.

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.