Sports | August 11, 2001, Saturday // 00:00

The Independent - London

THE RESULTS board in the VuGraph Theatre at the 2001 European Championships showed that many had gone down in Three No-Trumps on this hand, but in this featured match Vladimir Mihov of Bulgaria was successful against Israel, even after receiving a diamond lead.

He ducked the first, won the second perforce, then played a heart to the queen and king. Back came another diamond, removing his last stopper in the suit. Mihov entered dummy with the ace of hearts, then played a club to the queen, which held. After cashing the heart jack and club ace, which brought the king from East, he played a third club. In with the jack, West could cash a diamond, but was then endplayed into leading spades into South`s AQ. Nicely handled.

There is another line. On winning the second diamond lead, the queen of spades is played. If West wins and returns another diamond, South can cash the spade ace, then safely finesse in hearts. East wins with the king, but has no diamond to return. Dummy is later entered with !A; 4J9 cashed, and 2Q successfully finessed. 2A and !J provide the 8th and 9th tricks. Should West duck 4Q, spades are abandoned, and tricks are set up in hearts and clubs.
Note that it is not good enough to cash 4A before playing 4Q. West will hold up the king, and with !K offside, dummy`s spades cannot both be set up and enjoyed.

North-South game; dealer South
North - 4 J 9 6 5, ! A Q, # 8 6 5, 2 8 7 4 2
West East - 4 K 10 7 4 8 4 3 2, ! 9 8 6 ! K 10 5 3, # Q 10 9 2 # J 7 4, 2 J 9 3 2 K 10
South - 4 A Q, ! J 7 4 2, # A K 3, 2 A Q 6 5

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