Timeless distribution from 2008

The 2008 Spring Nationals Open Teams were won by the team of Ron Klinger of Northbridge. They narrowly defeated a team headed by another Northside player, Helen Horwitz.

The following board is reported by bridge maestro Peter Gill. Gill and Klinger had been teammates at the World Championships earlier in 2008, but Gill partnered Horwitz in this event. 

2008 SNOT Final, Bd 29  Dlr N, both vul

Bobby         George
Q4            32
AQ102         J9 
QJ74          AK10982
Q62           K98 

W    N    E   S
     1S   2D  2S
3D   3H   P   4S  
P    P    P

This hand is a great example of the power of shape. After a routine start to the auction, Bobby Richman realised that his queens and jacks in such a balanced hand would take very few tricks, so he settled for a mild 3D bid. 

Helen Horwitz from Mosman upgraded her hand and made a game try with 3H, recognising the powerful shape of her hand with a void in the opponents’ suit.

Peter Gill realised that his five count had turned to gold with the fourth trump, an ace, the useful heart doubleton in partner's second suit and the lack of wasted values in diamonds all strongly indicating that game was on. Points shmoints! Thus the 16 HCP game was bid. 

Helen ruffed the diamond lead and could tell from the relatively quiet bidding by her usually bold opponents, who had 24 HCP and a 10-card fit, that spades must be 2-2. So she drew trumps in two rounds and played the CJ. 

George Gaspar correctly ducked, otherwise Helen makes an overtrick, and the queen won. Another diamond was ruffed, then C10, king, ace. Helen played a heart to the king and then a club towards the seven, resulting in an easy ten tricks.

At the other table, EW played in 4D down one, for an 11 imp gain by the Horwitz team.

From the qualifying rounds of the same event, an even-freakier deal was reported by Ted Chadwick:

Dlr West, both vul

          S AKT9
          H AQ42
          D A8
          C KT2
S — S 87532
H — H 865
D KQJT74 D 632
C AQJ9653 C 84
          S QJ64
          H KJT973
          D 95
          C 7

West expects to lose a trick to the DA and a trick to the CK, and make the rest, and so it proved when 5C was doubled; 11 tricks, for 750 points. At the other table, North played in 6NT. This is defeated on a diamond lead but on East’s actual lead of a club there were 12 easy tricks, for 1440 points, a swing of 2190 on one board.