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Opening Lead: Jack of hearts.
The Tri-Cities Sectional Bridge Tournament is history. There was the same or increased attendance at every event. The “President’s Award,” given to the player who wins the most masterpoints in the four days of competition was won by John Feo. Jane Hunt was first in B Flight and Donna Parkes, the Tournament Chair, was first in C Flight.
One of the more interesting hands of the tournament is shown today. Hands are dealt by a computer and analyzed by a program called “Deep Finesse.”
The Bidding: The “Law of Total Tricks” (bid to the level of the number of trumps in both hands. Ten trumps, bid to the four level, ten tricks) says that N/S should bid to the three level and E/W should bid to the two level, which is what happened. N/S with less than half of the points can make game with ten tricks.
The Puzzle: Look at all four hands and try to figure out how to take ten tricks with perfect defense and perfect declarer play? Hint: Perfect defense is to never lead a spade or diamond and perfect declarer play involves a squeeze.
The Solution: It looks like the only way to take ten tricks is with a squeeze, but no squeeze works. The diamond suit provides the tenth trick, but entrees to dummy are crucial. The defense must begin with a club or a trump or the tenth trick is presented to declarer. As soon as possible, cash the ace if diamonds and lead a second diamond towards dummy. If West wins the king, go to dummy and take a ruffing finesse in diamonds for the tenth trick. If West ducks, establish a diamond winner by continuing the suit and ruffing out the king.
Thanks to Larry Lang for help on this problem.
The Richland Duplicate Bridge Club has a game at the Richland Community Center at 5:30 p.m. Mondays. The public is invited. We generally finish before 9:30 p.m. We also have a game on the first and third Fridays at 12:30 p.m. at the Old Country Buffet just south of the mall on Columbia Center Boulevard. Call Tom Edwards at 946-1824 for details.