I'm back from a quick trek to Champaign for the regional there--we had a fun squad but unfortunately never quite got things rolling. Here was one interesting declarer play problem:
The bidding is a bit different because of the system you are playing--the north hand deals and east-west pass throughout after the initial overcall.
*15-20 pts any shape
West leads a standard deuce of spades and East plays the Jack. You duck and when East continues with the Queen, your King holds, West following. What now?
Nine tricks could be there with a diamond finesse and a 3-3 club split or a miracle in diamonds, but from the carding it looks like the spades are 5-3. The opps can't cash more than 4 immediate tricks if that is the case, so the best line is to give up the 3rd spade now, cutting the defense's communication. You will make when West has King-third of diamonds because he'll be squeezed if East cashes out the suit (if not, clubs were 3-3 all along) and you can set up dummy's 4th diamond otherwise. The other two hands were:
Main Event wrap-up
5 weeks ago