Tenerife hands (16) - An oddity

When Germany met with Sweden for the 8th round of the Ladies in Tenerife, there was an oddity: Sweden made game at both rooms. Nothing earth-shattering you might say. Give me some distribution and a double fit and anything can happen. Yes, but one of these games was in 3NT -and this case is something of an oddity. (The real oddity would be for a team to make 3NT in *both* rooms, I agree!)

Board 13, North dealer, Both vul.

                      Q 5 3
                      J 10 6 3
                      Q 10 3
                      7 4 3

K J 10 6 4                         8 2
K Q                                  7 5
A K 6                                7 2
J 8 5                                 A K Q 10 9 6 2

                     A 9 7
                     A 9 8 4 2
                     J 9 8 5 4

Open Room
Gothe      Auken     Midskog   vonArnim
                pass      3C            pass
3NT          all pass

Closed Room
Rauscheid    Andersson        Nehmert    Larsson
                   pass                3C             4C
pass            4H                   pass          pass
dbl               all pass
The 3NT in the open room made 10 easy tricks. In the Closed Room, Larsson's bold bid, vulnerable, opposite a passed partner and without four spades, hit the jackpot. Probably Rauscheid was not expecting such solid clubs else she would bid 5C. (I don't know if EW play the gambling 3NT, which is what I would open with the East cards). 5C by EW is on if you guess spades, and 4NT also makes, obviously.

What about 4H doubled played by North? East led a club, ruffed. Say now that declarer plays ace of hearts and another. West wins and there is only one way to beat 4H: king (or jack, or ten) of spades! A spade trick has to be established before declarer established diamonds. Not a very easy defence, but one is playing practically with open cards (since partner is known to have clubs and nothing else). Obviously, on a spade opening lead the task of the defenders is easier, but who can lead a spade holding AKQxxxx in clubs?

In practice, declarer gave West an extra chance to beat the contract, because at trick 2 she played a diamond to dummy, won by West. Now Rauscheid could beat 4H either by a high spade or by giving partner a third-round diamond ruff. When she switched to a trump, however, the defence had no more chances.

Sweden won 16 IMPs by making game in both rooms but she would win 10 even if 4H went down one. Another proof of the (sad?) fact that most boards are won in the bidding.

Nikos Sarantakos

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2001 Nikos Sarantakos
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