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Another Candidate

7
8 4 3 2
A K Q J 10 9
6 5
6 5
7
8 4 3 2
A K Q J 10 9
 
8 4 3 2
A K Q J 10 9
6 5
7
A K Q J 10 9
6 5
7
8 4 3 2
If South declares notrump, hearts, or clubs, the defense can take twelve tricks off the top.
If South declares spades, West starts with three top clubs, East pitching a diamond on the second round.
If North ruffs the third round, East overruffs and plays two hearts, West ruffing the second round, leading to:
8 4
A K Q J 10 9
6
8 4 3 2
J 10 9
 
4 3 2
Q J 10 9
6
A K Q J 10 9
7
8
With West on lead, he can cash a club, East pitching another diamond, then give East a diamond ruff, for seven tricks.
Obviously, the same defense works when South declares diamonds, only in reverse.
So, is this a "worse" case than our previous candidate? In the previous candidate, we could not make more than five tricks in any suit, and having the lead was worth five tricks against all suit contracts. In this case, everybody can make six tricks in some suit, but having the lead is worth an additional six tricks.
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Thomas Andrews (bridge@thomasoandrews.com), © 1999-2014.
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