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JUST BRIDGE...

 

DOUBLE YOUR CHANCES

 

by Beverly Kraft -Eric Kokish


 On today's deal, West's choice of spot-cards was not crucial, but it was his choice of the trump suit for his lead that proved effective. In the trump suit, it can be important for the defence to conserve higher trump spots to over-ruff or to limit dummy's trump entries. It is standard to lead low from two small trumps; the middle card from three.

Both sides vulnerable South deals

 

  A 5
9 7
8 7 5 4

K 8 7 6 2

K 10 8 4
5 2
J 10 3 2

J 5 3

J 9 6 3
J 3
K 9 6

Q 10 9 4

  Q 7 2
A K Q 10 8 6 4
A Q

A

West North East South
      2(1)
Pass 2(2) Pass 2
Pass 3 Pass 3
Pass 4 Pass 5(3)
Pass 5(3) Pass 6
End      

(1) Strong, artificial
(2) Waiting
(3) Cue-bid


Opening Lead:
2

 After any plain suit lead, declarer unblocks the
A, concedes a spade, wins any return, ruffs a spade in dummy, and discards the Q on the K.

 On the trump lead, declarer played the seven from dummy and East withheld his jack. This unusual "third hand low" play was intended to keep declarer from entering dummy with the
9 at a point when it might be more advantageous. Declarer had a problem.

 With the defence threatening to kill the spade ruff, declarer (who must lose one spade) is in jeopardy of losing a second spade or a diamond. If he takes the diamond finesse and it loses, he will still lose a spade. If he unblocks the
A, crosses to the A, discards the Q on the K and plays a spade towards the queen, he would have a second spade loser if West has the K and a second trump to lead. Apparently, he will have to guess whether to play East for the K or the K. Is this so?

 Can you spot how declarer might be able to try both "finesses"?

 Play a low spade from dummy at trick two. If East has the king, declarer has a late entry to dummy with either the
A or a spade ruff to discard the Q on the K. If West wins the K, he must return a trump (if he has one) to stop the spade ruff in dummy. South wins, unblocks A, goes to the A, throws a spade on the K and takes the diamond finesse.

 Two for the price of one.