Tenerife hands (23) - With a little help...

Tuesday was a very bad day for the Greeks in Tenerife: two losing draws and a heavy defeat against teams not in contention, 38 points gained in three matches. Now Greece is fourth, France is 5th and Norway is 6th, 11 or 12 VPs behind Greece. Norway had a very difficult day, mind you, facing both Italy and Russia.

Anyway, let's hope that Greece will be able to forget what happened today; the team is very good but they are not accustomed at being placed so high, so the morale will play a role. I am crossing fingers and if you like those postings (and you are not rooting for other teams) please cross yours as well :-)))

Anyway, Netherlands had a good day that began with a blitz against Romania. In this deal they managed to make 1NT in the one room and 4Sx in the other, not without a little help from the defenders.

Board 10, East dealer, game all
                                     7 6 5 2
                                     10 8 5 4 2
                                     7 5 4

Q J 9 6 3                                           A K 8
J 9                                                    Q 10 8 4 3
A 3                                                    K Q 7 6
9 8 6 2                                              J

                                   10 7 5 2
                                   A K
                                   J 9
                                   A K Q 10 3
In the Closed Room, the Romanian East opened 1H and Jansma overcalled 1NT. West passed (would you?) and this became the final contract. Did West lead a stolid heart? No, the mystery is deeper. He led a fourth-best six of spades. The play record is missing, alas, so the mystery will remain unsolved for the moment; to the naked eye it seems that the defenders can take eight tricks, but the scorecard shows that declarer took seven.

In the Open Room, there was more interest:
West        North          East            South
                                 1H               dbl
1S            pass          2D               pass
2H            pass          2S               3C
4S            pass         pass             dbl
all pass
North led his trump, a good start, to the 8-10-J. Declarer ran the nine of hearts to South and now South... returned a diamond. Playing partner for the ace? It is barely possible that partner holds even a jack. Soon declarer was registering 790.

To beat the contract, it is rather obvious that South has to play on clubs, forcing dummy to ruff, and then still another club when in with the other high heart. This way, the 7 of trumps is promoted. Still South has to be on his toes, for if he discards a club on the established heart played by dummy at next trick, there is a trump coup position.

Nikos Sarantakos

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