All News

New To The Table. The Play of the Hand.

A couple of days ago, we looked at the bidding of one hand. We are now to be the declarer and will have to make our contract of 4 spades. We are West. Remember the hands and the bidding?

Board 5
North Deals
N-S Vul
   
K Q J 7 5
A K 3 2
6 2
K 3
 
N
W   E
S
 
A 9 8 6
J
K 7 4
7 6 5 4 2
West North East South
  1  Pass Pass
1  Pass 2  Pass
3  Pass 4  All pass

 

North led the Diamond-smallA and continued with the Diamond-smallQ which was won by the Diamond-smallK in dummy, all following. How should West continue?

The normal rule is that you draw all the opposition’s trumps if you can . So, since you and dummy have 9 between the two hands, they have 4. You have all the top spades and therefore should be able to do so without losing the lead. Play Spade-smallA and then a second round of spades to your king. Both defenders followed each time…4 trumps gone. None left in their hands. Can you count that much? Stop playing any more rounds of trumps.

Look at your hand with Heart-smallAK32 and Club-small K3. How can you eliminate those losing heart cards? Did you notice dummy had just one heart? You can use dummy’s trumps to take care of these losers. So, Heart-smallA and then Heart-small2 trumping in dummy. (no need to play Heart-smallK until later, although you could play it next, as long as you threw a small club from dummy.)

How do you get back to your hand? You can play dummy's little diamond and trump that card and then play Heart-small3 and trump that.

You have only clubs left in dummy..but that is good as you play one towards your king and hope that South has the Club-smallA enabling your Club-smallK to score a trick:

 

Board 5
North Deals
N-S Vul
10 2
Q 9 8 4
A Q J 10 8
A 10
K Q J 7 5
A K 3 2
6 2
K 3
 
N
W   E
S
 
A 9 8 6
J
K 7 4
7 6 5 4 2
 
4 3
10 7 6 5
9 5 3
Q J 9 8
West North East South
  1  Pass Pass
1  Pass 2  Pass
3  Pass 4  All pass

 

The Score

Not this time, as North held Club-smallA  as you lose two club tricks and the Diamond-smallA but still make 10 tricks and get the score for a not vulnerable game, +420.

Had you stopped in 2Spade-small or 3Spade-small and made 10 tricks, you would have just scored just +170. It was worth West inviting game. To get the game bonus in spades, you have to bid to the 4 level.

The Opening Lead

North decided to lead their long suit, diamonds. As they held the ace, that is the correct card to lead, rather than any low one. They decided to continue that suit (play Diamond-smallQ from this holding) at trick 2 even with the king in dummy. By doing so, they hoped to score a second trick in the suit, Diamond-smallJ. In fact, as West only had two diamonds, this plan did not work.

However, assuming the declarer played the board correctly, the defence could never score more than three tricks.

Play Notes. A. Only play trumps until the opposition have none left…or if they have a higher one than any of yours, leave that one out too.

Look at East-West’s clubs. If West led the Club-smallK from their own hand, they would never make a club trick, no matter where the ace was. However, by leading clubs from the East hand, the king would score a trick as long as South had the ace. They did not this time but it was worth trying. Where you only have one honour, lead towards it rather than leading the card itself.

men playing cards.png

Richard Solomon

Go Back View All News Items

Our Sponsors
  • JLT Logo square.jpg
  • NZB Foundation
  • JLT and Chubb Logo square 02.jpg
  • City Council square logo.png