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Think and plan before you play to trick one as declarer

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If there is one thing I will do by way of this column is to make you think and plan before you play to trick one as declarer. Seeing the solution in the post mortem, or worse still having your partner point it out to you, is not what you want, so try and train yourself into pausing and thinking at trick one.

Figure 1
Figure 2

So now to the hand which came up in a team game where making the contract is the only objective (see Figure 1).

The bidding was simple – South opened 1 Club (his 18 points were too many for a 1NT opening) and when partner responded 1 Diamond he jumped to 2NT showing 18-19 HCP – North now had an easy raise to 3NT.

West led the 7 of spades and declarer was happy to accept the gift of an overtrick when the 10 won the trick. Declarer now played the Ace and Queen of diamonds and when West showed out on the second diamond the ugly realisation dawned on her that the contract was dead.

Overtaking and setting up the diamonds was no good as there was now no entry to dummy. After a few minutes, declarer was scoring down 2 on a hand that was cold at trick one. See the full hand in Figure 2.

Do you see where declarer went wrong? Correct, at trick one!

Firstly declarer needs to see that the diamonds may not break 3-2, and then take corrective action by creating an entry to dummy outside of the diamond suit. This could only come from the spade suit so at trick one declarer must win the trick with the Ace of spades!

Now the defence cannot stop her – cash the Ace Queen of diamonds and play a spade – West has no answer and the hand is make with an overtrick – two spades, one heart, six diamonds and one club!

Again, a pause to think at trick one may have let declarer figure out the right play.


Monday, August 30


1. Judy Bussell – Magda Farag

2. Wendy Gray – Richard Gray

3. Pat Colmet – Diana Kempe


1. Bill Pollett – Des Nash

2. Molly Taussig – Jane Smith

3. Richard Hall – George Correia

Tuesday, August 31

1. Katyna Rabain – Louise Payne

2. Jean Schilling – Diana Downs

3. Janice Bucci – Angela McKittrick

Wednesday, September 1


1. Linda Pollett – Bill Pollett

2. Betsy Baillie – Martha Ferguson

3. Pat Colmet – Julia Beach


1. Heather Woolf – George Correia

2. Greta Marshall – Lynanne Bolton

3. Judy Bussell – Jane Smith

Friday, September 3

1. Marge Way – Jack Rhind

2. Molly Taussig – Jane Smith

3. Judy Bussell – Wenda Krupp

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Published September 04, 2021 at 8:00 am (Updated September 03, 2021 at 5:07 pm)

Think and plan before you play to trick one as declarer

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