Tenerife hands (9) - Death trap

Bridge is a bidder's game but there are some deals where no contract will succeed. I guess that Thomas Andrews has in his collection of constructed deals some specimens where no contract is possible to be made (double-dummy) in any strain by either pair, but this deal from the 10th round in Tenerife came close. Predictably, perhaps, it was board no 13 :-)

Board 13, dealer North, both vul.

                              Q 9 7 6 5 3
                              K J 10 8 7

J                                       A 10 7 5 4 2
K 10 8 2                             J 4
K Q 7 5 3                           8 4
5 4 2                                  A Q 6

                             K Q 9 8 6
                             A J 10 9 2
                             9 3
This is a real death trap for bidders -no real fit in any strain, terrible trump breaks. As I see it, the highest contracts that may succeed are 1NT for EW and 2C for NS. Now, if you can propose a rational sequence ending in 2C for N-S, I would like to see it! (1NT by EW is possible: East opens 1S and W replies a non-forcing 1NT which East passes because he is tired and doesn't want to play the hand).

Predictably, in real life much higher contracts were attempted and usually went down (sometimes a lot and doubled). Out of 34 declarers, only 2 made their contract!
- Debonnaire for Portugal made 2H as North (normally this is down one), and
- David Burn made 2NTx for England as West (since he is following the group he might tell us how when he comes back from Tenerife:-)

There were some hefty swings when teams bought the contract at both tables (hardly a bargain):
My Luxembourgers lost 17 IMPs to Austria when they reached 3NTx as N-S (down four, 1100) and 2S as EW (down 2, 500). Netherlands made one better against Liechtenstein, they collected 500 from the usual 2Sx by EW and 1400 from the extraterrestrial 5Dx down 5 by NS.

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2001 Nikos Sarantakos
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