Shangai hands (4) - Rescue thy opponent

This hand, the first board of Round 4, is a real trap. There is a lot of distribution by EW but misfitted, hence neither side can make anything big. In fact, 2H by East is the higher making contract, although some 3-level contracts were also allowed to make. When Canada met Netherlands, in the Open Room the Canadian East opened with 2H and 4H was reached, down only one when the Dutch cashed their setting tricks. The Closed Room auction was more convoluted:

Brd 1    K876
North    J96
None     KT95
Q                T9532
5                AK8732
AQ8543           T7

 W   N   E   S
     P   P   1D
 3C  X   3H  3NT
 P   P   4C  P
 P   4D  P   P
 X   P   P   P

Frukasz must have put on his rosy glasses when he bid 3NT, This hopeless contract would go at least two down, doubled, possibly three down, but instead of doubling Bertens came to the rescue of the opponents by bidding 4C! Now, 4C by EW is more reasonable than 3NT by NS but it still must go one or two down. But not to be outdone in generosiry, Klimowicz returned the favour and let the opponents off the hook, rescuing them with his 4D bid.
There were no more friendly presents, only a thunderous double from West. Three down and 11 imps for the Dutch.

Nikos Sarantakos

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2007 Nikos Sarantakos