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Hand that’s all about planning and sticking to the plan

This week sees the Junior Open Pairs on the Tuesday and Thursday ... there is a good group of new players at the club, many coming from the lessons put on by various club members over the years. The current series by Greg Carey has attracted the usual high interest and will undoubtedly attract another crop of members. I’ll bring you the results in next week’s column. Today’s hand is all about planning, and then sticking to the plan ... an all-important part of successful declarer play. The hand came up in a local Teams event and three out of the four declarers failed in the contract . Board 1. Love All. Dealer North. ª QJ96 © AQJ103 ¨ 53 § Q10 ª K5 ª 42 © 964 © K75 ¨ QJ96 ¨ K872 § K852 § 9763 ª A10873 © 82 ¨ A104 § AJ4 WEST NORTH EAST SOUTH 1© Pass 1ª Pass 2ª Pass 4ª All four declarers were in 4 spades and the diamond queen was the lead at all four tables. Declarer 1 decided to win the first diamond and exit with a diamond making it easy for East to win and lead a club won by West. Now with both major suit kings being offside the contract went one down. Unlucky, as any of the three kings being right would make the contract safe, but successful declarers combine luck with skill. The other three declarers did better by ducking the diamond queen, but all three defenders did superbly to not continue diamonds but lead a heart ... Two of the three declarers succumbed by calling for the queen and when East won and returned a club both these declarers also tasted defeat. Notice that the heart switch was not without danger for the defenders ... If East in fact had the AK of diamonds and not the heart king a second diamond to East and a club through is essential before the trump king is knocked out. Perhaps at the table it became obvious that declarer was holding up the ace , or that East would overtake the first diamond to lead a club if he had the ace-king so the heart switch now looked attractive. The fourth declarer surveyed the hand and decided to do everything to keep East off lead while the major suit kings were still out. So he ducked the first diamond and then when West switched to a heart he stuck with the plan and called for the ace he now ran the queen of spades and when West won he was helpless … a heart exit was pointless, a club too dangerous and futile when West continued a diamond declarer won, drew trump, knocked out the heart ace and claimed the contract. Declarer, because of his planning, succeeded despite a tough opening lead and all the three kings being wrong ... a well-deserved success, don’t you think? The lesson? The message? Plan

before playing to trick one!


Monday, March 5, N/S: 1.Greta Marshall-Lisa Burland, 2.Roman Smolksi-Vera Petty, 3.Dolly Winwick-Judy Kitson.

E/W: 1.Alan Douglas-Bill Tucker, 2.Joe Wakefield-Tony Saunders, 3.Diana Diel-Marg Way.

Evening, N/S: 1.John Rayner-Eddie Kyme, 2.Dee Craft-Mona Marie Gambrill, 3.Richard and WendyGray.

E/W: 1.John Glynn-Elizabeth McKee, 2.Sheena Rayner-Peter Donnellan, 3.Steve Ball-Linda Pollett.

Tuesday, March 6, Evening, N/S: 1.Judy Harte-Stephen Smith, 2.Thomas Bolton-Noula Contibas, 3.Marie Wakely-Barbara Elkin.

E/W: 1.Judy Patton-Rosie Smith, 2.Ted and Joyce Pearman, 3.Mark Crampton-Martha Ferguson.

Wednesday, March 7, Morning, N/S: 1.Lisa Burland-Elizabeth McKee, 2.Russ Craft-John Hoskins, 3.Jackie Swan-Charles Pearman.

E/W: 1.Gertie Barker-Jane Smith, 2.Louise Rodger-Michael Bickley, 3.Nea Willits-Audrey Smith.

Thursday, March 8, Evening, N/S: 1.Dan and Jane McCleary, 2.Ernest Paynter-Louise Payne, jt 3.Peter Donnellan-Richard Gozney, and Thomas Bolton-Paul Thompson.

E/W: 1.Danielle Cloutier-Diana Kempe, 2.Ann Proctor-Annelies Scheland, 3.Hugo Benziger-Noula Contibas.

Friday, March 9, Evening, N/S: 1.David and Sally Sykes, 2.Lynn O’Neill-Diana Diel, 3.Richard and Wendy Gray.

E/W: 1.Charles Hall-John Rayner, 2.Eddie and Stephanie Kyme, 3.Gertie Barker-Peter Donnellan.

Compiled by Julia Lunn