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RonKlinger (48K)

Pitch Inspection


by Ron Klinger

http://www.RonKlingerBridge.com

Improve Your Bridge Online

Problem

EAST Dealer | NIL Vulnerable

Q 10 5 4
K Q 5 3
A J 6 5
10
K J 9
J 10
K Q
A J 7 4 3 2
N
WE
S
WestNorthEastSouth
  PassPass
1 NT12 2Pass4 
PassPassPass 
  1. 15-17
  2. hearts and spades

West leads the DK: ace - ten (high-discouraging) - two. Declarer plays the S4: seven - ace - nine, followed by the S2: king - five - D3. East's D3 is odd-card-encouraging. West continues with the DQ: five - seven - four. What should West play at trick 4?




Solution

From a State Team Selection:

East Deals
None Vul
Q 10 5 4
K Q 5 3
A J 6 5
10
K J 9
J 10
K Q
A J 7 4 3 2
N
WE
S
7
8 4 2
10 9 8 7 3
K 9 8 6
A 8 6 3 2
A 9 7 6
4 2
Q 5

West opened 1NT in third seat, North showed both majors and South jumped to 4S. West began with the DK, taken by the ace. East discouraged with the D10. Declarer played a spade to the ace and a spade back. West took the SK and East discarded the D3, encouraging.

Why encourage diamonds? As the defence could collect at most one trick from clubs and one from diamonds, it was important for East to dissuade West from switching to hearts. By encouraging diamonds East was telling West that hearts was not the place to look for more tricks.

West deduced that declarer, a passed hand, would not have five spades to the ace, plus the HA and the CK. With that much, South, an aggressive bidder, would have opened 1S. Noting East's pitch West cashed the DQ. East followed with the D7, his lowest, a suit-preference signal for clubs. Having inspected the diamond cards, West duly switched to a low club. East won with the CK and returned a diamond, allowing West to score the SJ for one down.


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