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Hands to improve your counting technique

The Art of Counting - 2 Contract: 3N
By: E
Date: 12/12/2011 Board #: 1
Dealer: North Vulnerable: All
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North
65
8
84
KQ987532
 
West
K987
AT53
T72
AT
 
East
AQT
Q72
K653
J64
 

South
J432
KJ964
AQJ9
 

West North East South
- 3♣ P P
X P 3NT P
P P

Lead: 6

This hand comes from the French National Teams 2011.

Bidding: Sitting North, Combescure preempted 3 on a tram ticket (vulnerable)!

Knowing his opponent, Bompis had to take the risk of trying 3NT after partner doubled. If 3NT were doubled he can still rescue to 4.

Play: This hand is a case for carefully counting the hands.

From the lead, declarer knows South had no clubs to start with, hence 8 clubs in North.

The 8 being the highest heart allowed to North (by virtue of the rule of 11), declarer  is planning to make:

4 (South being favorite to hold the long spades to the Jack).
3.
1.

Once you have seen two diamond discards (the 4 and the 8) you have a complete count of the hands.

With 8 tricks in the pocket, and AQJ sitting at your left, you just have to find a way to end-play South, so that he'll deliver you the K trick gracefully.

In the closed room, North found the "normal" 4 opening bid. EW reached 5 doubled. 14 IMPs for Bompis - Quantin.