THE NEA BRIDGE by Phillip Alder
THE JUNIOR WINNER COMES FROM CHINA
The 2013 Richard Freeman Junior Deal of the Year went to Chen Yuechen from China. The deal, which was described by Fu Tsiang, occurred during the Chinese Junior Championships, played in Suzhou, some 60 miles from Shanghai.
In the auction, two hearts was either natural or a big, balanced hand. Over the forced two-spade puppet, two no-trump promised 24-26 points. After Stayman, North invited a slam with four no-trump, and South accepted despite his minimum count because he had all of those aces and kings.
Without a clear opening lead, Chen (West) chose his lowest club. Cao Jiahao (East) correctly put in his nine, and South won with his ace. Declarer played a diamond to dummy’s jack, then ran the heart jack. How did West defend?
West realized that declarer needed two more dummy entries, one to repeat the heart finesse and one to cash the 13th heart. Those entries had to come in spades.
West won with his heart ace and led another diamond, a key play. (A club would have given South four tricks in the suit with a good guess. And a spade would have been won by dummy’s 10.)
South took this trick, cashed the club king to try to drop the queen, then led his spade seven. West was ready, playing his jack to kill the second dummy entry. Now the contract had to fail. South took only three spades, two hearts, four diamonds and two clubs. (More about this deal on Monday.)