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By Any Stretch

Dlr:
East
Vul:
Both
North
♠ A 6 4 3
6
K Q 10 5 4
♣ Q 8 2
South
♠ Q 9
K 10 8 4
8 2
♣ A 10 9 7 3
West North East South
1 Dbl Pass 2NT
Pass 3NT All Pass

Denmark fields excellent bridge teams for international competition, as evidenced by this deal from the World Bridge Olympiad in Istanbul, Turkey. The deal was originally reported by Barry Rigal. The star of the deal was Marlene Kirstan.

After Kirstan stretched to bid 2NT, her trusting partner, Camille Krefeld, raised to game.

South started with the 7, which went to the jack and king. The 2 went to the king, and the ♣Q was ducked all around, followed by the ♣8 to South’s jack. Looking at a sure entry in the A, West cleared the hearts.

Kirstan won the fourth round of hearts and ran the clubs. This was the four-card ending:

Dlr:
Vul:
North
♠ A 6
Q 10
♣ —
West
♠ K J
9
A
♣ —
East
♠ 10 8
J—
J 9
♣ —
South
♠ Q 9
8
♣ 10

On the play of the ♣10, West had to discard her winning heart. She was then thrown in with the A to lead away from the ♠K at trick 12. Well played.

At the tournament, this same deal was shown on vugraph, played by Zia Mahmood. It turned out that Zia had made the same aggressive 2NT bid that Kirstan had, but his partner, Michael Rosenberg had passed with the West hand.

Informed of this development, Krefeld said, “My partner plays them better than Zia.” Indeed, Zia had taken only eight tricks in 2NT.

The full deal:

Dlr:
Vul:
North
♠ A 6 4 3
6
K Q 10 5 4
♣ Q 8 2
West
♠ K J 5 2
A Q 9 7 3
A 3
♣ J 6
East
♠ 10 8 7
J 5 2
J 9 7 6
♣ K 5 4
South
♠ Q 9
K 10 8 4
8 2
♣ A 10 9 7 3