Tournament Focus: Winter 2009

Prize Play Quiz
A competition you can all enter

by Julian Pottage

Please look at the question on play below and give your answer.

There are three categories in our competition: up to and including Master; up to and including Regional Master; and for those with higher ranking.

Dealer E
None Vuln
SK 6 4 2
HQ 10 3 2
DK 8
CA K 2
SA Q 8
HA J 5 4
D10 7 4
C10 6 4
Pass4HAll Pass

West leads the jack of diamonds to the king and ace. East cashes the queen of diamonds and plays a third round, which West ruffs with the six of hearts.

What is the best line for the contract?

Entries to: Julian Pottage, 17 Beach Road, Porthcawl, CF36 5NH or Entries need to arrive by 30 January 2010. Please state on the top left hand corner of the envelope or in the e-mail header the category you wish to enter. If entering by e-mail, please include your postal address. Julian Pottage will judge the entries, and the first correct answer that he draws in each category will win a prize.

Answer to Tournament Focus II Play Quiz

Question master Julian Pottage gives his view of the best line of play in July’s edition of Tournament Focus.

SQ 9 6 3 2
HA K Q 6
DK 7
C6 3
SK 7
H8 7 5
DA 5
CA Q 10 7 5 2
HandS10 8 5 4
H10 9 3 2
D8 6 3 2
HJ 4
DQ J 10 9 4
CK 9 8 4

You play in 3NT after West has overcalled in clubs.

West leads the seven of clubs and East plays the jack.

Outside of clubs, you have five top tricks. By knocking out the ace of diamonds, you can be sure of setting up enough tricks for the contract. The danger -- a very real one -- is that West will get to run the clubs when in with the ace of diamonds.

If the lead is fourth highest, East has no high clubs apart from the jack. Winning the first trick and hoping for a blockage cannot work. By far your best chance -- indeed quite a likely one as West ought to have a six-card suit to overcall at the three level -- is that the jack of clubs is a singleton.

Duck the first trick, sacrificing your king! When East switches to a spade, you go smartly up with the ace. Then play a diamond to the king and continue playing the suit to drive out the ace. Your jack of hearts will be a sure entry to the diamonds.

Unfortunately there were no entries to this quiz. Great prizes are available, so please do give it a go!

Julian Pottage