Dick on Defence 2 continued

August 4, 2009 at 8:55 am 5 comments

Well done everybody who banged down the ace of clubs:

Dealer West
NS Vul

NORTH

sAQ103
h1872
d1
cQJ9873

WEST

s8764
h1A103
d110984
cK5

EAST

s9
h1 K5
d1KQ76532
c642

SOUTH

sKJ52
h1QJ964
d1AJ
cA10

West……North……East….South
Passell…Mayer…..Wold…Wright
Pass…….Pass……..4D……Dble
All Pass

It isn’t actually sufficient on the hand, but it is best.

Dick had this to say in his column:

‘Declarer pulled a diamond to the king and ace. Wright put his partner in with the ace of spades and a third round of clubs promoted the jack of diamond to defeat the contract by one trick.

‘Can you see how Wold could have made 4• doubled? The answer is a rare strategem known as a scissors coup. After dummy wins the king of clubs, it goes: king of hearts, ace of hearts and the ten of hearts. When North can’t beat that, declarer pitches his spade loser. South takes the trick but communication between the defenders has been cut and they make just one trump trick.

‘Worse was to come for the Americans. At the other table, defending 5• doubled, James Jacoby chose to lead the queen of hearts. Declarer took three quick rounds of hearts, throwing the spade loser and making the contract. All he lost there was a trump and a club.’

Interesting to see yet another example of the US not able to come up with the rule-breaking lead…I guess the New Zealanders Wright and Mayer were lucky. When declarer should have made and went down presumably that prevented any discussion of whether they were cheats.

If I presented this declarer play to somebody I was teaching as a problem, ie I’m talking about an average club player, I’d be disappointed if they didn’t come up with the solution. It just goes to show there is hope for us all when a world class player can miss such a simple thematic idea.

See you tomorrow.

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Entry filed under: Dick Cummings.

Dick on Defence 2 Dick on Defence 3

5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Jonathan  |  August 5, 2009 at 12:39 am

    Well, if North had bid 4S (and West for some reason passed it out) it’s another opening lead problem for East – I think HK is necessary.
    In chess-problem circles we’d call this an “echo variation.” And
    suppose NS reached 4H on a S lead. When North leads a low trump, East must duck HK, surprisingly, for yet another promotion.

    Reply
  • 2. Bill Jacobs  |  August 4, 2009 at 4:27 pm

    Yes, I don’t think the “average club player” would ever find this play.

    And the scissors coup would be a SPECTACULAR failure if South held either:

    AQxx – Qx – AJ – AJxxx

    or

    AQx – Qxx – A – AJxxxx

    So I think you are a bit harsh on Wold. Of course, it could be argued that North might have taken out 4DX with a 6 card heart suit, or 5-5 in the majors, but that’s not entirely certain.

    Cheers … Bill

    Reply
    • 3. Bill Jacobs  |  August 4, 2009 at 4:39 pm

      South with

      AQJx – Jxx – AJ – A10xx

      is another disastrous losing position for the scissors coup.

      It looks more and more like Wold played it correctly.

      Reply
    • 4. cathychua  |  August 4, 2009 at 4:40 pm

      Bill, Yes, these are possible. I was thinking of being kinder to declarer. Obviously I got up this morning in an uncharitable mood.

      Reply
  • 5. Bruce The Crusader  |  August 4, 2009 at 4:08 pm

    I think your going to be dissapointed all the time. The foresight to see the scissor coup is beyond a club standard player.

    Surely north cant pass a double which is for something other than penalties ??

    In any event the values double in such a spot is a sad form of risk avoiding compromise.

    Values double says; “I hate that they pre-empted we should definately do something”

    I say “Get a backbone and make a decision”

    Reply

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