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VOLVER AL INICIO - AGREGAR A FAVORITOS

                                                         

 

 Oct. 05/99

 

JUST BRIDGE...

 

PERCENTAGE PLAY NOT ALWAYS BEST

 

by Beverly Kraft -Eric Kokish


 It would be easy to assume that today's deal has been extracted from a textbook on card play, but the truth is that it was played by many pairs on an Internet bridge club.

 Most North-Souths reached 4
, but a few ambitious pairs climbed to 6 after auctions like the one in the bidding diagram. North's 3 cue-bid was unrelated to clubs but showed primary support for opener's suit and a near-maximum for the initial pass. South's 4, in contrast, promised complete control of clubs (void or singleton ace), interest in slam with long spades. North's 6 bid was a fair reflection of his working values. Although slam is not laydown it is a good contract. How should declarer play on the lead of the A?

North-South vulnerable North deals

  Q 10 8 4
A 7
A 7 3

10 7 4 2


Q 9 6
K 9 6

A Q J 9 8 5 3

5 3
10 8 5 3 2
J 10 8 4

K 6

  A K J 9 7 6 3
K J 4
Q 5 2

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




(1) Good spade raise


(2) Lead a club, please


 Opening Lead:
A

 There is an attractive technical line: ruff, draw trumps, go to the
A, and lead a low diamond towards the queen. If East has the K, the hand is over. However, if West takes the Q with the king and exits safely with a diamond or a club, declarer will fall back on the heart finesse. A priori, it is slightly better than three chances in four that East has both important cards or one of them. These are excellent odds, and with no clues from the auction, this would be the indicated line of play. Unfortunately, it does not work here.

 There is an alternative plan that takes advantage of the information from the bidding. Draw trumps, ruffing three of dummy's clubs in the process. Play
A, K, and if the queen has not appeared, ruff the J in dummy. Then play dummy's last club and discard a diamond on it. West wins the trick and must lead from the K or play yet another club, permitting declarer to ruff in one hand and discard a diamond loser from the other. This line works not only when West has the K (as the auction suggests) but also when the Q drops in two rounds.