Gatlinburg

Gatlinburg is a small town at the foothills of the Smokey Mountains. To bridge players, however, it is the place to be in the Spring. Last year, over 3800 players came and won over 62,000 master points. It is by far the largest non-national tournament every year.

On opening night I held this hand as South:

Spade852 Heart DiamondKJ762 ClubAT953

The auction proceded

North                    East                 South                    West
                                                     Pass                      Pass

1NT(10-13)          2Club1                   3Club2                     3Heart

4Club                     4Heart                     5Club                        X

Pass                    Pass                     Pass

1 hearts or hearts and a minor

2 both minors non-forcing

So here was the dummy and hand:

SpadeA97

HeartJ65

DiamondA4

ClubQJ875

 

Spade852

Heart

DiamondKJ762

ClubAT953

A heart was led and I ruffed it. Well if clubs were 2-1 and diamonds no worse than 4-2 I was cold. So I cashed the ClubA and righty showed out. After long thought (but not long enough) I cashed the DiamondA, DiamondK and then ruffed a diamond. At this stage with diamonds 4-2 I could no longer make the hand.

Afterwards, I think the right line upon discovering the club break is to continue with a second club. Make sure to unblock the ClubQ from dummy so that if West taps me a second time, I can take the diamond finesse, ruff high and then draw the last trump with my ClubT.

The diamond suit combination is interesting. The way I played the hand would work against all 3-3 breaks and all doubleton Queens. Because of the club break, I would not be able to handle DiamondQTxx in either hand. I think the 3-0 break in the club suit changes the percentages enough that it is right to take the Diamond finesse. I would lose to doubleton or tripleton Q off-sides. It is very close. I can guess my RHO has 6 hearts and no clubs. He might have shown the majors if he had as many as 4 spades. So the evidence suggests that he has at least 4 diamonds. If he has 7 hearts, then it is probably right to hope diamonds are 3-3. Unfortunately I got it wrong.

At the other table our teammates were in 5Heart doubled down 1, so we lost 5 imps. If I had made 5Club we would have won 10 imps. The only good new was we lost by 29 imps so we still would have lost even if I had made it.

The best thing in Gatlinburg is that when you lose a KO, there is a new one starting the next day.

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