All News

Daily Bridge in New Zealand

Something you like?

What to throw away!

Sorry, what to discard?

When it comes to discarding, there is not one correct answer because we all have our preferred methods. While the method may not be universal, the intention is much more likely to be so.

Also, the fact that our declarer today did not take their best chance to make their contract does not detract from the fact you as a defender should be trying your hardest either to defeat the contract or at least save overtricks.

Bridge in NZ.pngnz map.jpg

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

 

The bidding was natural with 2NT showing 12-14. 

As is so often the case, you do not seem to have got off to a great lead, Spade-small5 (leads 4th highest etc) went to dummy’s jack, Spade-small7 from your partner (reverse count or attitude) and declarer’s ace. Next comes Club-smallT from South which holds the trick. South plays a second club. Which card do you discard and why?

So, yours was no great overcall, especially vulnerable but a spade is probably (well, let’s say “possibly”) the suit you would like your partner to lead if they were on lead. Unless your partner is particularly strong, you are unlikely to end as declarer.

However, you bid and despite a raise from your partner, you were outbid and then made a none-too-great lead to 3NT. Declarer made the slightly unusual play of overtaking Spade-smallJ in dummy with their ace. Did they have to or did they choose to win in their own hand?

It could be that South held Spade-smallAK doubleton and that your partner raised to 2Spade-small with 5- card support. That does seem a little timid as South does not seem to be hugely strong as they only bid 2NT (12-14). Assuming East was giving either reverse count or encouragement, they would certainly encourage with a 5-card suit. Was the S7 really from Spade-small98743?

There was an alternative and that was South had something to hide and that they did not want to win the trick in dummy. Whichever of these scenarios was true, would there be anything wrong in saying you held an honour in hearts? You never know…

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

 

South was not worried about spades but there was a potential problem in the other major.

No worries if the club finesse worked as 5 clubs along with two AKs would be 9 tricks. South was hopeful when Club-smallT held but less hopeful when West discarded an “I have something useful in hearts, partner” Heart-small2. Since South had intentionally squashed their third spade trick by overtaking at trick 1, they needed 3 club tricks even if they could score 4 tricks in diamonds. Thus, East won their Club-smallK and switched to a heart.

Which heart?

On the actual deal, it does not matter as the defence can take 4 heart tricks to go with the Club-smallK. Say though West and South had three hearts (South holding Qxx), then, firstly West would need to ask for a heart by discarding a spade (say Spade-small6 saying they do not like spades: hearts then is the only logical switch), and then East must exit Heart-smallJ. Whichever heart South plays, the defence must score four heart tricks.

Should South have overtaken that Spade-smallJ? Had the club finesse worked, the answer would be “no” as they could score 9 tricks without losing the lead. However, when Spade-smallJ holds and South plays a diamond to the ace and then Club-smallT, East has the chance to find the heart switch.

One declarer found an ingenious way to score 9 tricks. They won Spade-smallJ and then played Club-smallA and a second club. Would you have as East have gone up with your Club-smallK and found the heart switch? East ducked and Club-smallT scored. West’s signal did not help the defence as South switched to diamonds, taking four tricks there via the finesse of Diamond-smallQ, along with three tricks in spades and significantly, two in clubs.

Say the club finesse worked? Well, the pressure was then on West to find the heart switch. No joy for the defence this time.

Our declarer could have won the second round of clubs with the ace and gone for diamonds, too.

golden opportunity.jpg

well, not “golden” opportunity but
declarer's best chance!

West did not know that when they had to find their discard at trick 3. With spades seemingly unlikely to produce quick tricks, it might just have been time to indicate that they had a heart honour, enabling their partner to play that suit if they were allowed to win Club-smallK.

 

This should not happen!

Pre-empts, your pre-empts, are meant to make it hard for the opposition, not the pre-emptor!

 
 
5
A Q 9 7 6 5 3
9 3
K 9 4
West North East South
  3  Pass 3 
Pass ?    

 

Not this time! What to bid? Oh, a change of suit is forcing for one round, in case you wondered!

Richard Solomon

Go Back View All News Items

Our Sponsors
  • Tauranga City Council
  • tourismbop.jpeg
  • TECT.jpg
  • Ryman
  • NZB Foundation