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South deals  S J x x x x 
 H Q x 
 D J x x 
 C x x x 
 S
 H A K J T x 
 D Q x x 
 C A Q J T 
none vul  S T 6 
 H x x 
 D A x x x x 
 C x x x x 
 S A Q x x x 
 H x x x x 
 D K T 
 C K x 

West
John


dbl
dbl
all pass
North
Alex


3S
pass
East
Chiin-Zhé


pass
pass
South
Zoltán

1S
4S
rdbl
Result: down 4, NS –1600

Zoltán Radnai and the Hat from Mars
John and Toby

Bidding:

Zoltán evidently didn't realise that the 3S raise was weaker than normal after my double. Still, he has a pretty minimum opening and shouldn't raise anyway. The redouble is psychotic.

Play:

I cashed the HA K and led the HJ, ruffed and overruffed. Chiin-Zhé switched to a club, and I won two rounds and led a third. Zoltán ruffed in hand, ruffed a heart high, and took the losing trump finesse. I led a diamond to the ace and Zoltán took the rest.

Toby sez:

It makes sense to ruff the third heart high, as you can never pick up SK T x with Chiinners. Zoltán's next decision was when he (correctly) ruffed a club, and then he should have laid down the SA; ruffing a heart high means Chiin-Zhé can overruff if he has the SK, which might be bare by now. When he doesn't, and then follows to the next trick with the ST, John is marked with the stiff king. Zoltán's decision to lose to it in order to save himself the diamond guess is perhaps ill-judged. Zoltán is left to lament that he might have escaped for –300 and a good score (4H is liable to make because lack of entries to dummy pretty much force you to drop the HQ).