The European Junior Championship was played in Slovakia in July. The Swedish team put up a strong performance and finished with more than a match margin to second placed France. Poland came third.
The Swedish team was strong, the Rimstedt brothers played at their usual level of open class, so was Simon Hult and Adam Stokka at this board from the match against the mighty Netherlands.
You are SOUTH and find yourself declaring 3 NT, the cards you face these two hands
Simon Hult leads the deuce of diamonds; you try the jack, east show up with the queen. The seven of heart hits the table; you play the king and west the ace.
Next west play the four of diamond.
Sometimes bridge is no fun. How could Simon Hult find this only defense to put the contract in jeopardy? If the cards are wrongly placed you will go down in a contract that seems unbeatable.
It do not help much to cry, so what you do play at dummy?
Let us look on the challenge; you can end up losing 3 diamonds and 1 heart.
- If east hold A Q T in diamonds you can’t make a change
- If west have led small from the ace twice you need to grab the king
- If west have led from the ten you need to play low
So what is the most probably distribution of these alternatives?
The Dutch declarer did try the most probably alternative when he asked for a small diamond from dummy. It is not so often you face an opponent underleading an ace twice.
Well, you did this time. The whole hand looked like this
Simon Hult had found the brilliant lead of a low diamond from A x x, well done!
However, the truly brilliant play came when he fulfilled his defense underleading the second time!
There is only one thing to do; take off your hat and admire this great Swedish player.
The story does not stop. At the other table, the Dutch west also led a diamond after the same bidding sequence. Ola Rimstedt didn’t want to get fooled and asked for the king……
That scored 11 IMP to Sweden on their way to victory in the European Championship.
You can read more about the championship at this link.