Test your skills on a bread-and-butter hand

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You can tell that it is a slow time at the club when all I can tell you about is the Bridge Club Summer Party on Saturday August 11 and the Bermuda Sectional on October 12 to 15. So mark those in your diaries.

This week’s hand is the bread- and-butter type that comes up so often, where the intermediate plus players will just see two finesses available but the better players will try and avoid at least one of them.

Dealer South, N/S Vulnerable

North

? AKQ765

? K106

? 98

? 87

West

? 842

? 872

? KJ62

? KJ6

East

? 3

? 9543

? 754

? 109432

South

? J109

? AQJ

? AQ103

? AQ5

South North

2NT 4?

4? 4NT

5? 6?

The bidding was good — the 2 no trumps showed 20-22, the 4 Hearts was a transfer to Spades and then Blackwood showed 3 Aces in the South hand and led to slam.

East made the sensible passive lead of a trump as most of the high cards rated to be with South.

Declarer was an experienced player who realised that if the opposing trumps were 2-2, he could guarantee the contract by drawing trumps, eliminating Hearts and coming to this position.

North

? AK65

?

? 98

? 87

West

?

?

? KJ62

? KJ6x

East

?

? 3

? 754x

? 1094

South

? 10

?

? AQ103

? AQ5

Now he could run the 9 of Diamonds to West’s Jack and any return by West takes care of the remaining minor suit cards in dummy — even if West had the last Heart it would provide a ruff and discard.

On the actual hand, however, trumps did not break but South still drew trumps and realised that cashing the Hearts still made sense — the end position was slightly different:

North

? AK6

?

? 98

? 87

West

?

?

? KJ62

? KJ6

East

?

? 3

? 754

? 1094

South

?

?

? AQ103

? AQ5

West is once again endplayed after the Diamond finesse. This, however, would not have happened if Declarer did not eliminate Hearts after drawing trumps, and that is a play that comes up time and time again. So, do it — it costs nothing.

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Published Jun 2, 2018 at 8:00 am (Updated Jun 1, 2018 at 10:42 pm)

Test your skills on a bread-and-butter hand

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