Taking the finesse is a favourite move
As I’ve written here many times before, there is nothing an intermediate bridge player likes more than taking a finesse – whether it is the right play, wrong play or a destined-to-fail play does not matter, the finesse must be taken!
With that in mind, look at today’s hand and see how you would play it. See the hand in Figure 1 and the bidding in Figure 2.
West led the Queen of hearts against four spades. East overtook this with the King and returned the eight of diamonds. Declarer deduced that this was a singleton and saw the danger of a ruff as East had kept communication with West open by not playing a second heart. More importantly, he also saw that it would be pointless to take the trump finesse: there were only 16 points missing and West was marked with four hearts headed by the Queen-Jack. So, East was all but certain to have begun with the king of trumps.
Carrying his deductions further, it was at least as likely that East would have three trumps as it was that he had two. As it was almost certain that East had the King of clubs, declarer decided to attempt to cut the defender’s communication in hearts.
Declarer took the diamond shift in dummy and ran the Queen of clubs. After playing a second club to his Ace, declarer crossed to dummy with a trump to the Ace and led the Jack of clubs. East covered with the King and, rather than ruffing this trick, declarer discarded his remaining heart. This loser-on-loser play gained nothing directly, but it prevented a diamond ruff by severing the heart link between the defensive hands.
East now tried a fourth round of clubs, but declarer ruffed high and, as West could not overruff, declarer was home. He was then able to claim his contract, conceding a trick to the King of trumps.
While there was some danger from foul breaks in clubs in this approach, it was more likely to succeed than any alternative, assuming the bad diamond break indicated by East’s play to the first two tricks.
Really good defensive play by East and a brilliant counter by declarer!
BRIDGE CLUB RESULTS
Friday, June 24
1. Gertie Barker – Martha Ferguson
2. Pat Colmet – Elysa Burland
3. Marge Way – Tony Saunders
1. Wendy Gray – Richard Gray
2. Joe Wakefield – Charles Hall
3. Peter Donnellan – Jack Rhind
Monday, June 27
1. Lynanne Bolton – Peter Donnellan
2. Elysa Burland – Greta Marshall
3. Sheena Rayner – Magda Farag
1. Harry Kast – Charles Hall
2. Lorna Anderson – Heather Woolf
3. Wendy Gray – Richard Gray
Tuesday, June 28
Juniors under 300 master points
1. Marion Silver – Duncan Silver
2. Malcolm Moseley – Mark Stevens
3. Wenda Krupp – Barbara Elkin
Juniors under 20 master points
1. Jevon Dickinson – Stephanie Lewis-Pullen
2. Maureen Murray – Josai Williams
3. James Fielding – Ben Stone
Wednesday, June 29
1. Marge Way – Charles Hall
2. Sheena Rayner – Julia Beach
3. Pat Siddle – Diana Diel
Thursday, June 30
1. Diana Diel – Rachael Gosling
2. Marge Way – Misha Novakovic
3. Stephanie Kyme – Charles Hall