August 24, 2005 

Many auctions, one result!

Today I present the strangest outcomes I have seen on a single hand for a long time. Study the hand and decide where you would like to be with the north-south cards: 3 notrump? 6 diamonds? 6 spades? Even 6 notrump? 7 diamonds?

Now let me tell you that the hand was played three times in a recent duplicate game, in three different contracts and all three declarers got the same result! One declarer in 3 notrump saw the defense start with a heart lead, the best start they could have, and then somehow got lost with the spades. We can see that the spade suit comes down for 6 tricks but my friend led a spade from south, finessed the 10, and then led the queen away from the AQ ... to lose a trick to the now lone king and let the defense in to take away his second heart stopper. When they got in again with a diamond, they got their 5th trick for a 1-trick set. Either very lucky defenders or a very unlucky declarer.

Another pair bid the hand to the contract of 6 diamonds, an excellent place to be; and as you can see, the contract is cold on any lead. There is a sure diamond loser, so you have to work on the spades and since the king falls doubleton, there should be no problem. The unlucky declarer I watched contrived to lose his diamond trick and to lose a spade trick, so he too was down 1. A very lucky defensive pair.

The last pair I watched bid the contracts of 6 diamonds, 6 spades, 6 notrump and finally 7 diamonds, the only contract for which there was no play as the cards lie. There is no way to avoid a diamond loser. This declarer did make the obvious 12 tricks, and perhaps was lucky to get an average on the board instead of a bottom. Isn't bridge is a wonderful game!?

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