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Partner thinks awhile, consults the ceiling, and eventually gives me three spades.

Practical Bidding And Practical Play - Fortune Accepted

 

 

"It might have been worse," I begin to tell my partner. "For example, if I finesse the Queen of spades all I make is my three Aces and..." But he isn't listening.

Play Bridge With  Reese - ...But the Patient Died

 

 

The following deal would hardly seem worthy of inclusion were it not that in a multi-team contest, where only expert players were engaged, one declarer after another had a blind spot in the play.

 

AK73

842

75

AQ64

Q82

95

K1062

J953

J1065

KQJ

QJ83

108

94

A10763

A94

K72

 

When North-South succeeded in reaching Four Hearts the usual lead was a trump. East holds the first trick and returns a trump, taken by the Ace. What should south do next?

Several declarers made heavy weather of the play. They ducked a diamond, hoping that if the clubs did not break there would be a squeeze; but when East drew the last trump there was no way for declarer to come to a tenth trick.

It is a deceptive hand, for the answer to the question "What would South do after winning Heart Ace at trick two?" is "Claim the contract and put down his cards before he makes a mistake."

Reverse dummy play makes the contract a certainty against any lie of the cards. South takes three rounds of spades, ruffing the third; then across to club Queen for a ruff of the fourth spade. Now he plays on clubs, ruffing the fourth round if necessary. If the opponents play their good trump at any time during this operation, dummy's heart 8 gains in stature and will take care of the third diamond.

The Expert Game - Putting The Trumps To Work

 

 

KQ1062
853 AJ
974

You lead low to the Queen and East plays the Ace. Now it is normally correct play for East, if he holds Ax, to play low, so that declarer will have a guess on the next round. Therefore, when East wins with the Ace, there are grounds for assuming that he has Ace alone or AJ.

Of course if declarers were constantly to draw that inference, it would become good play for a defender to play the Ace from Ax ; it is a world of bluff and double bluff.

The Expert Game - Discovery, Assumption, and Concealment

 

 

In a pairs event I note that a rather solid-looking couple have come to our table. While I am thinking about this and that, I see that, with no one vulnerable, I have to speak first on: KJ  A5  K9862  10743.

Disdaining the customary gambit to the effect that I didn't realize it was my deal, I open, guiltily, one diamond.

Practical Bidding And Practical Play - A New Look

 

 

 

With murder in my heart I congratulate West on his good defence.

Practical Bidding And Practical Play - An Early Reverse

 

 

 

"The next example is more instructive :-

Q97642

A5

South's lead of the Ace drops the 10 or the Jack from East. Most players on the next round, will rest their head on their chin and think of this and that while deciding whether to finesse the 9 or go up with the Queen. If they go up with the Queen and it looses to the King, they will say "Well, East could have had the J10 just as well as the K10." But that, as we have seen, is not right. With J10 originally East might have played the other card; with K10 or KJ he had no choice."

The Expert Game - The Principle of Restricted Choice

 

 

 

When the defender's trumps are headed by an honour it is still more important for him to keep his powder dry.

Q732

J5

AJ853

KQ

109

A862

Q1072

953

AKJ85

93

K94

J87

64

KQ1074

6

A10642

South plays in Three Hearts after East has opened the bidding with One Spade. West leads S10 and on the third round South ruffs with the 7. If West over-ruffs he will have no further defence beyond the Ace of trumps. Instead, he must discard a club or a diamond. South plays off CK, CQ and leads HJ from the table, followed by H5. West takes the second round and plays a diamond. Now South is on the table and has lost control.

The Expert Game - Around the Trump Suit

 

DEFEND WITH YOUR LIFE

Problem 1

A976

J72

KJ104

62

J

10863

Q7

KQJ1043

 

 

South West North East
1S 2C 2S Pass
3S Pass 4S Pass
Pass Pass

 

You lead the king of clubs, East plays the five and South wins with the ace. Declarer draws two rounds of trumps, on which East plays the three and the ten, and cashes three top hearts, to which all follow. South then exits with the nine of clubs, East playing the seven. What do you play now and why?

 

SOLUTION

You must assume that partner still holds the queen of spades, for otherwise declarer would hold ten tricks on top (and would have bid four spades on the second round). The whole hand is thus easy to construct.

A976

J72

KJ104

62

J

10863

Q7

KQJ1043

Q103

954

A853

875

K8542

AKQ

962

A9

You can count the declarer for three low diamonds. If left to himself he will surely finesse for the queen. However, a ruff-and-discard will not help him; on the contrary, it will leave him with the option of playing you for the ace of diamonds.

You must lead the thirteenth heart, not a club. South will ruff in dummy and lead a spade to East's queen. East can exit with a club and declarer might misguess the diamonds. True, he ought not to, because with Ax or Axx in diamonds you would have defended differently; but no medals are won by assuming that declarer will always do the right thing.

 

Bridge Magazine - Vol.LXXVI No.534 - January 1980