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Holiday challenge: correct play that is hard to spot

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With all the Cup Match games cancelled this hand may take up a bit of the time you have on your hands, as the correct play is hard to spot and also hard to understand – but try it! See Figure 1.

Figure 1

You arrive in six spades with no opposition bidding and the lead is the diamond Queen – what is your best chance of making 12 tricks?

You only have two entries so you have to use them well and decide which finesse to take – what would you do?

While it is tempting to play trumps first, the correct finesse to take is the heart!

Why? Well if either finesse you take wins you are probably in good shape, but what happens if it loses?

If the heart finesse loses you now just have one shot at the spade finesse but with nine trumps there is a good chance that East has Kx or stiff King. If the spade finesse loses, however, or if it wins and spades are 4-0, the contract is almost certainly dead as finding East with Kx or stiff King of hearts is highly unlikely with only six cards between you and dummy.

For the full hand, see Figure 2.

Figure 2

If the heart finesse wins Declarer now plays Ace and Queen of spades, giving up a spade and using the remaining diamond entry to repeat the heart finesse.

Got all that?


Friday, July 22

1. Wendy Gray – Richard Gray

2. Joyce Pearson – Lorna Anderson

3. Jane Smith – Betsy Baillie

Monday, July 25

1. Joyce Pearson – Betsy Baillie

2. Martha Ferguson – Judy King

3. Aida Bostelmann – Julia Beach

Tuesday, July 26

1. Jean Schilling – John Thorne

2. Tim Mardon – Richard Hall

3. Marion Silver – Duncan Silver

Wednesday, July 27

1. Jane Smith – Gertie Barker

2. Wendy Gray – Richard Gray

3= Molly Taussig – Tony Saunders

3= Julia Brach – Sheena Rayner

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Published July 30, 2022 at 8:02 am (Updated July 30, 2022 at 8:02 am)

Holiday challenge: correct play that is hard to spot

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