Writers’ weekly 26 | A classic play from the European Championships

Nils Kvangraven - Norway

The European Championships became a success. 33 participating teams spent 11 days in Ostend fighting for the right to represent Europa at the 2019 World Championships. The competition was held in series of Open, Women and Senior.

There were quite a few interesting hands, lets look at this classic trump-suit play that we thought were ABC for national teams, not everybody was as careful as the Norwegian declarer.


The Norwegians play a strong club system combined with relays. This works with one hand being the captain asking partner for his distribution and strength. South found his partner to have 8-11 hcp and less than 3 Controls. It seemed like a wise decition to stay away from the slam.

West led the jack of hearts won by the king. Most declarers might play the king of spades then a spade ending up in trouble losing two tricks in trumps when the suit was 4-1.

As you see there is a possible safetyplay holding this suit combination. The Norwegian declarer spotted the position and started off with the ace of spades. When the nine dropped from east declarer continued with a low spade from hand. When west followed with a low he just played the seven from dummy.  

Now declarer had an easy make following up with a heart to the ace then ruffed a heart. Then cashed the king of spades before the top clubs came in play. The defense ended up with a trick in trump and two in diamonds.  

Aa the cards lie there is still a chance of making without the safety play. For a writer it is better to write about these types of play that were played at the table.