## Deal No. 1

 8 5 4 3 Q J 9 7 5 3 Q 10 9 A 10 K Q J 9 7 10 4 K 8 10 9 8 6 3 2 A K 7 5 5 4 3 8 2 6 2 A 6 2 J 4 A K Q J 7 6

Please, analyze this deal for me. It's from the final of the 2002 Rosenblum Cup. I find it odd that both sides will do better in their second longest suit than in their longest.

'Curious'

If North-South play in hearts, their nine-card fit, they can only take eight tricks if the defenders start with three rounds of spades (promoting two trump tricks). But if they play in clubs, their eight-card fit, they take ten tricks with the aid of a heart finesse. One less trump, but two more tricks.
If East-West play in diamonds, their ten-card fit, a double dummy defense holds declarer to eight tricks: a low club to North, two heart tricks, a second club trick and a third club ruffed with the queen of diamonds. If East-West prefer their seven spades, they take nine easy tricks. Three less trumps, but one more trick.
So if the sides prefer their longest fits, we see that 19 trumps produce 16 total tricks (-3). But if they play in their second longest fits, 15 trumps take 19 total tricks (+4). This is a good illustration to what you should know by now, namely that how many tricks you can take is not related to how many trumps you have.

What would our formula say? Let's see.

• Spades: Since diamonds are 2-1 but the heart king useless, East-West have 20 WP and an SST of 4. Nine tricks.
• Hearts: The heart king is doubleton onside, so it looks like North-South have 17 WP and an (adjusted) SST of 2, or ten tricks. But the 5-2 spade split and South's bad trump spots mean the defenders can promote two trump tricks. As we have said before, 'the formula predicts how many tricks one side will take if nothing bad happens', and here spades 5-2 was such a 'bad thing'.
• Diamonds: East-West have an (adjusted) SST of 3. Trumps are 2-1, so with the heart king offside it looks like they have 17 WP (10 in diamonds, 7 in spades), or nine tricks. But since the defenders can arrange a trump promotion, another 'bad thing' happens for the declaring side, which reduces their tricks to eight.
• Clubs: With the heart king doubleton onside, North-South have 20 WP and an SST of 3. That is ten tricks. Note that if the defenders lead trumps, South can't enjoy North's singleton diamond. But he doesn't need to, since North's heart suit provides more tricks than needed. The only effect North's singleton had was to stop the defenders from cashing two quick tricks in diamonds.

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