The Summer Nationals are being held in Las Vegas where summers are extremely hot. The temperature is over 40 degrees Celsius daily! No wonder, most visitors stay inside. The air-conditioning is really needed! Unfortunately, the Americans seem to love really cool air so it may be freezing. Quite a difference compared to outside...This year we managed to qualify for the round of 64 of Spingold. The following board from the round of 64 was a challenging declarer play problem. After natural bidding you are playing 4H. Opponents are playing UDCA (low = even, encouraging). What is your plan?
There seems to be at least a spade loser, a trump loser and a diamond loser. It seems natural to start the play with a diamond towards dummy´s honors. So you play accordingly and East wins the trick with the ace. The club is returned. You can follow the play in the bridge movie.
Now you need some favorable lies - the goal should be to force the opponents to open up the spade suit in the end. There is also a tiny chance of QJ tight in hearts. Noticing West`s count signal in diamonds you play a diamond to the dummmy and ruff a diamond to the hand. Follow the play in the bridge movie below.
When you cash the heart K, East plays the J. What now?
If the hearts are 4-1 and even if you take the heart finesse, there simply does not look to be enough entries and winners to make the contract. So, you just have to hope the hearts are 3-2. You play heart to the Ace, all following with low cards.
Nice try by East! - he surely has QJx in hearts and was giving a losing option to the declarer. The play continues as follows: ruffing dummy`s last diamond and ruffing a club. Now you are able to endplay East with a heart. Follow the play of the hand in the bridge movie below.
The play was similar at both tables. Anyway, a nice way to make a push board!