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Play and Defend Better: for improving players

Combining Chances

It’s Christmas. It’s still bridge time  and there’s still some contracts to be made. This one is not where you really wanted to be but bidding one for the road seemed the right idea at the time. Back your judgement. What’s the plan?

 

South Deals
None Vul
J 10 8 4
5 3 2
K J 10 5
Q 4
   
N
W   E
S
   
 
K 6 5
A 4
A K 10 9 7 6 5 3
West North East South
      1 
Dbl 1  Pass 5 
5  Pass Pass 6 
All pass      

 

Making 11 tricks sounded easier than making 12 but that Diamond-smallA lulled you into bidding once again. (Maybe partner had long diamonds?) The doubler must have been suspicious as they did not double your slam even though they were likely to hold both missing aces. They started with the wrong one from your point of view, the Heart-smallA. Ruffing that seemed like a good idea…but what next?

If the Diamond-smallQ appeared in two rounds, all your problems would be over. Otherwise, you are reliant on East holding the Spade-smallQ but barring misdefence, you can only play spades once from dummy, unless the Spade-smallQ and 9 appeared very quickly..unlikely..and then East would give you a nasty guess by covering the Spade-smallJ first time holding Q9 doubleton.

Another chance is that theDiamond-smallQ appears in 3 rounds after ruffing it out or of taking a ruffing finesse against East…but then the doubler, West, is more likely to hold the Diamond-smallQ. To take advantage of this card appearing, you need to keep an entry to dummy to discard a spade on the Diamond-small10. So, trumps cannot be drawn: well, you can at trick 2 lay down Club-smallA. Both follow.

Playing diamonds first risks a diamond ruff if West were very short in the suit. Yet, you really do need a discard for your small spade. So, at trick 3, play Diamond-smallA, a diamond to the king and Diamond-smallJ and hope to get lucky.   

On this day, you did not need to play the third round of diamonds:

South Deals
None Vul
J 10 8 4
5 3 2
K J 10 5
Q 4
A 9 7 2
A K Q J 10 9
Q 8
2
 
N
W   E
S
 
Q 3
8 7 6 4
9 7 6 3 2
J 8
 
K 6 5
A 4
A K 10 9 7 6 5 3
West North East South
      1 
Dbl 1  Pass 5 
5  Pass Pass 6 
All pass      

 Christmas gift 2.jpg

Merry Christmas: it was for the declarer above.

Richard Solomon

If you would like a light-hearted quiz relating to the past year in bridge, look in to this site for five successive days starting this coming Friday…..27th December.

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