Chess & Bridge Combined
The Chess World Cup tournament was taking place at the same time as these World Championships. On this deal declarer brought home his contract by utilizing a term that is well known in that game:
In the Open Room, Percario and Donati had bid 2NT-3-3-6NT, but declarer had relied on both major suit finesses being right and went one down.
6NT can be made – but is difficult. After two rounds of clubs, declarer plays two rounds of hearts finessing and then ducks a diamond. If South exits with the Q declarer wins in dummy and plays a diamond and North, down to Q96 10 J10 is in trouble. A club discard is out of the question, but whichever major he discards from will allow declarer to continue with that suit in what is effectively a repeating squeeze. Across the fields, 48 pairs went down in a slam, while 5 made 6 and 13 6NT. Remarkably in the BB only Singapore and UAE made the latter – and they were playing each other!
South led the Q and declarer won with the ace, played a club to the ace and club to the king, South discarding the 9. Declarer cashed the K, took the heart finesse and cashed the A discarding a diamond. He ruffed a heart, cashed the Q and the diamond king and then played the top spades ending in dummy. He could then play the 10 to score the 7 en passant for a splendid +920 and 14 IMPs.
6 is perhaps a better bet than 6NT. Another way to make it after the 4-1 break comes to light is to take the heart finesse, and after ruffing the fourth heart, cash two diamonds and then throw North in with a club for an enforced spade return.