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Cash and Carry

  by Richard Pavlicek

In a recent team game, I picked up the hefty South hand. While the point count meets my requirements for a 2 C opening, the potentially awkward rebid (3 D over 2 D) made this unappealing. Further, holding short spades the chance of being passed out in 1 D was too small to worry about.

North’s jump raise was weak (inverted minors), and East was not to be shut out (I knew the spade suit would show up somewhere). I needed so little for slam, and Blackwood would be a waste of time, so I just took the plunge. Oops. Dummy had the wrong hand, with three apparently useless queens.

South dealsS Q 5 3WestNorthEastSouth
None vulH 51 D
D Q 9 6 5 4Pass3 D3 S6 D
C Q 9 5 3PassPassPass
S 10 7 4 2TableS A K J 9 8
H J 9 3H 10 8 6 4 2
D 10 3D 2
C J 7 6 2C K 4
S 6
H A K Q 7
D A K J 8 7
6 D SouthC A 10 8

West led the S 4 (third-best from an even number) to the jack, and East tried to cash the king. Despite the disappointing dummy, there was a chance that did not require a miracle. I needed the C K to be in the same hand as the heart length (and hearts not 4-4); then that defender would be squeezed.

After ruffing the second spade high, I won the D K, then led the D J to the queen and ruffed the last spade. Next came the C A, and my last diamond to dummy to finish the trumps. Bingo! I got lucky as East was forced to abandon his heart stopper, then my H 7 won the last trick.

Actually, I was more than lucky; East was a benefactor in leading the S K at trick two. This is sometimes known as the cash-and-carry defense: Try to cash it — get carried away. If East instead shifts to either red suit, it would be impossible to ruff both spades and execute the squeeze. Try it.

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© 2011 Richard Pavlicek