How many times have we had it hammered into us: ‘When dummy goes down, plan the play’? Well, if we are playing with Nick Sandqvist, probably every time we pick up a hand and then again when we floor a frigid game. These days Nick plays mainly with Natalie Shashou, a very talented relative newcomer and as bridge-obsessed as it is possible to be. Their team won Stefan Skorchev and Christophe Grosset’s first online tournament, the E-Open.
Today’s hand, played by Natalie, certainly helped propel them to the winning spot.
The contract was the same at both tables, as was the opening lead of the King of clubs. At the other table an English International won the Ace of clubs — and lost the match.
Natalie, no doubt making a plan, took a few moments to go through the play in her head, and saw she was at least one off. She then made the great play of ducking the opening lead!
West had no chance; East has to have an Ace for her double — and it looks like he’s found it. Besides which South is almost certain to be void in Spades on the auction, so he naturally played another Club.
Now, but only now, was the timing right; South won and played two rounds of trumps to dummy, ruffed away the Ace of Diamonds, then ruffed her last Club in dummy to dispose of her Spade on the good Diamond. +1210.
Only one trick difference, but what a trick.
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