Carousel

Carousel was the second musical by the team of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II . The 1945 work was adapted from Ferenc Molnár’s 1909 play Liliom, transplanting its Budapest setting to the Maine coastline. The story revolves around carousel barker Billy Bigelow, whose romance with millworker Julie Jordan comes at the price of both their jobs. He attempts a robbery to provide for Julie and their unborn child; after it goes wrong, he is given a chance to make things right. One of the songs from the show contains the line: ‘I’d let my golden chances pass me by.’

In the first half of the match between Yeh and Lavazza both sides were given the chance to shine:

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It was tough for North to raise to 4Cuori – but on this layout declarer would have had an easy task.

Against 3NT East led the jack of diamonds and declarer won in dummy and played a club. West went in with the ace and played a diamond giving the defenders the five tricks they needed, +50.

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West led the two of spades and declarer went up with dummy’s queen, playing a heart to the queen when it held. He could draw trumps and play on clubs, taking eleven tricks,+200 and 6 IMPs for Lavazza.

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No doubt there is a logical explanation for West’s decision to bid 5Cuori over 5Fiori, but I will have to wait until I next see Norberto to discover it.

However, 6Fiori was by no means certain to fail (there is one lead that is sure to beat it – see if you can spot it!).

South led the king of spades and declarer won perforce in dummy, came to hand with a diamond and ran the jack of spades pitching a heart.  She continued with the ten of spades, deciding to ruff it with dummy’s four of clubs and then played the nine of clubs, North following with the six.

If declarer lets the nine of clubs run she can then ruff a heart, overtake the queen of diamonds and play the ace of diamonds. North is helpless. If he ruffs, declarer overuffs and plays two rounds of trumps, forcing North to lead into the heart tenace. Discarding does not help, as declarer throws a spade, then repeats the procedure by pitching a spade on the ace of hearts, North scoring only one trump trick.

Unfortunately declarer overtook the nine of clubs and now the 4-1 trump break meant she had to go one down.

Have you worked out the winning lead?

South must start with a trump, which leaves declarer a trick short.

If South leads a diamond or a heart declarer can play to reduce her trumps by cross ruffing.

 

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North led the nine of spades and declarer won with the ace and played the nine of clubs to the jack. When that held it was natural to continue with the ace, but it proved to be fatal. South pitched the three of spades and declarer continued with a club to North’s ten. A spade to South’s queen was followed by the five of hearts and when the queen lost to the king South’s king of spades was the setting trick.

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I confess that once partner has volunteered 5Fiori I might not be able to resist the temptation to bid 6Fiori with the South hand. If your partner is a Rabbi you can be confident he will not lose a trump trick!

There were three aces to lose, one down.

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Five Diamonds was designed to help partner if the opponents bid on to 6Fiori.

There was no swing.

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North led the four of clubs and South won with the king and continued with the ace, which declarer ruffed with the ten of spades. He fatally played the jack of diamonds to dummy’s ace and South ruffed and exited with a spade. Declarer could pick up the trumps, but had to lose a heart for one down.

If declarer crosses to dummy with a heart he can then run the eight (or queen) of spades and has the eleven tricks he needs.

Here is something for you to consider as North.

Should you have led a diamond at trick one?

I’m sure you would have done that if partner had doubled 5Picche, wouldn’t you?

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West led the king of diamonds and declarer ruffed and cross ruffed spades and diamond s before playing a heart to the king for +550.