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New To The Table. The Play of the Hand.

Reaching the Right Game….and making it!

A couple of days ago, we left you with your hand and dummy and asked you to plan how to make your game. You have enough high card points to be in game and enough trumps to make the heart suit trumps….but you have to be careful! There is a danger if you follow the main rule of playing a trump contract….

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

 A Good Rule..but remember the ending!

The rule is that you should draw the opposition’s trumps as quickly as you can. That is a great piece of advice as long as you remember the last few words “as long as you do not need dummy’s trumps for any other purpose”.

What potential losers are there in the South hand? Spades are solid…no losers there. Trumps may be OK too if both defenders have 2 each. They will fall under the ace and the king. However, if one defender has three trumps, you will lose a trick to the jack or the queen. (if one defender has all 4 trumps, it will not be your day….but everyone else in 4Heart-small will suffer the same fate.)

You have no diamond loser as you have the ace opposite your singleton. What about clubs? Three possible losers unless the defence play AK setting up your queen. (You cannot expect them to be that friendly!)

So, on a bad day, you could lose one heart and three clubs, one too many tricks What can you do about that? You do not have to lose three club tricks as dummy has only two. Plan to lose two clubs and use one of dummy’s trumps to win a third round of clubs. That’s a great plan…but it may not work if you even draw even one round of trumps.

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

 The Solution

So, win the Diamond-smallA and play a club to your queen and ace. You will probably find that the defence will switch to trumps as they can guess what you aim to do. Win the Heart-smallQ with dummy’s ace and play a second club. If East wins with the king, they have no second trump to play but it would not matter if West were to win as if West plays a second trump, they will not make a trump trick. Try it.

So, the defence will exit a spade and you can win in the South hand and trump your losing club in dummy. When East shows out on the second round of hearts, you will be very glad you played this way. 4Heart-small bid and made…+620.

You notice a couple of South players failed in this contract, as did the two players in 3NT. You must have done something right. You did..plenty!

Richard Solomon

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