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Jan 31

Mind your spots

Holding 9532AAKQ75J95 in a Swiss teams at Quicktricks, I had an awkward auction:

West Steve East Antony
      1
P 1 P 1
P 21 P 3
P 3 P 3
P 4 AP  

1. artificial GF

A club is led and I see that 3N would have been a better spot:

None deals
South vul
Steve
KT76
KQ974
9
AQ6
Antony
9532
A
AKQ75
J95

I take the ace and cash three diamonds, pitching both remaining clubs from dummy.  My RHO ruffs the third diamond and exits the club king, ruffed in dummy.  I get back to my hand with the heart ace (that I carefully kept in order to be able to lead towards the spade king), reaching the following position:

North
KT7
KQ97
South
9532
75
J

Now I need to navigate the trump position correctly (cashing my hearts first doesn't change anything)… but I carelessly lead the nine, covered by the queen, king and ace, and eventually my RHO scores four tricks with his AJ84.  Of course, a small one is always better than the nine.  I have to be more careful, I guess (and yes, this cost us the victory tonight… by a single VP of course).