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Throw-In Play Justifies Bold Bid

  by Richard Pavlicek

The Gold Coast Fall Sectional Tournament will begin Friday, November 21 at the Holiday Park Activity Center, 730 N. Federal Hwy., Fort Lauderdale. The three-day duplicate-bridge tournament is open to anyone, and special events are scheduled for novice players. Sessions begin at 1:30 and 8:00 P.M. on Friday and Saturday; 12:30 and 6:30 P.M. on Sunday. If you need a partner, come about a half hour early and one will be arranged for you. The best news: Smoking is not permitted inside the building.

Today’s deal was played by Jeanni St. Jean of Pembroke Pines during the Florida finals of the North American Open Pair Championships held last weekend in Tampa.

5 H South
E-W Vul
S J 7
H A J 10 8 3
D Q 8 7
C K 6 2

4 S

4 H
1 S
2 H
5 H
S 10 8 6 5 4
H 9 4 2
D 6 3
C 9 7 4
TableS A K Q 9 3
D K J 10 5
C Q 10 8 5

Lead: S 5
S 2
H K Q 7 6 5
D A 9 4 2
C A J 3

After a routine two-heart overcall, St. Jean was raised to game. East doubled to show a good hand and West took it out to four spades. When this was passed around, she might have given up but — call it courage or women’s intuition — persisted to five hearts. This looks wrong since both four spades and five hearts seem unmakable, but St. Jean vindicated her judgment with some fine declarer play.

South ruffed the second spade and routinely drew trumps in three rounds as East discarded spades. It was tempting to play diamonds now because the fourth diamond might establish to provide a club discard from dummy; however, East was marked with the diamond king from the bidding and declarer could not afford the loss of two diamond tricks. Declarer decided her only chance was a throw-in play against East.

Accordingly, declarer won the club king, finessed the jack and cashed the ace to eliminate that suit entirely. She then led a low diamond from her hand and played the seven from dummy. East was endplayed. A diamond return would ride to the queen; a club return would allow South to ruff in hand and discard a diamond from dummy.

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© 1986 Richard Pavlicek