Shangai hands (5) - Miss a slam, gain 13?


USA I has taken the early lead by miles and for the moment they' re playing really well. In this board of their Round 5 match against Canada, they gained a hefty swing even if Zia-Rosenberg failed to bid a laydown slam. Perhaps this is a sign of destiny? Look for yourselves:

Brd 15   T73
South    T42
NS       KQT
         J974
         Garner
QJ9              AK842
QJ97             
6                A987
AT652            KQ83
Frukacz          Klimowicz
         65
         AK8653
         J5432
         
         Weinstein

 W   N   E   S
================
             2H
 P   P   X   P
 P   P       
If I remember correctly it was Larry Cohen who said that he personally is wary of doubling a weak 2 bid for take-out when holding a void in the enemy suit, because of the likelihood that partner will pass. An example that highlights his concern came here: spurred by the vulnerability, the Canadian West passed the take-out double... and soon he found himself writing 670 at the wrong column of his scorecard.
True, a diamond opening lead will initiate a defensive cross-ruff that will give the defenders the first six tricks, beating 2H by one. But this did not happen at the table: Frukacz led the obvious queen of spades. He had good company: the great majority of the West players also passed the double and led a spade.
At the other table, the Canadian North raised to 3H, so Zia-Rosenberg were more justified to pass and scored 200 so they gained 13 imps. But there is a laydown slam with the EW cards. A slam that, totally understandably eluded to most pairs, even if it is available in both black suits. Let's name the few who reached slam: the Irish and the Kiwi men, the Chinese seniors and the Danish ladies; the ladies even collected the biggest swing so far, the first really big swing of the event (I call 'really big swings' those between 16 and 19 imps); it was 17 imps, when they made slam (920) and were doubled at 2H= (670) at the other table.

Nikos Sarantakos



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2007 Nikos Sarantakos
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