stevesgames (stevesgames) wrote,

Bridge Column

                     The Greedy Overtrick (IV)

     Playing in a matchpoint contest at your local club, you pick up:

                ♠ ---   ♥ AJ8652   ♦ A1095   ♣ A42

     You are vulnerable, the opponents not, and partner, who is the dealer,
passes.  RHO opens 1♠.   You overcall 2♥, LHO passes, and partner raises to
4♥, which is passed all around.  LHO leads the ♠10, and you now face the
following play problem:

                         ♠ AJ7654
                         ♥ K1074
                         ♦ J3
                         ♣ 5

                         ♠ -----
                         ♥ AJ8652
                         ♦ A1095
                         ♣ A42

     It looks as though you have missed a reasonable slam, since there are 
layouts that may well offer 12 tricks.  However, slam is unlikely to be bid
when there are so many high-card points missing, so you should assume that
the contract figures to be the normal one reached at most, if not all the
other tables.  If you are going to outscore the other declarers, it will 
have to be on the basis of overtricks.  

     If the hearts are divided 2-1, you can draw two rounds of trumps, 
ruff your two small clubs in dummy, discard a diamond on the ace of 
spades, and take a double finesse in diamonds.  As the opening bidder,
RHO is a heavy favorite to hold at least one diamond honor, so this 
line appears to have a good chance to produce 12 tricks.  If you look
deeper, though, you might see an additional extra chance, giving you 
an ultimate pig line that could result in bringing in all 13…..  

     On first glance, dummy’s spades look too anemic to amount to 
anything, especially with RHO bidding the suit and promising at least
5-card length.  However, if RHO has only five spades, and LHO has 
led from either 10-9 or 10-8 doubleton, dummy’s spade spots may be
worth more than one might initially think.

     To begin with, there is no need to play the ace of spades at 
trick #1.  Instead, cover the 10 with the jack.  This will force 
RHO to play the queen, which you will ruff.  You now play the ace 
of hearts, and breathe a little sigh of relief as both opponents 
follow, RHO showing the queen.  Next comes a heart to dummy’s 10 
to draw the last trump, RHO discarding the king of clubs to show 
a solid sequence.  Now you play the ace of spades, on which RHO 
plays the 2, you discard a low diamond, and LHO—bless his soul—
contributes the hoped-for 8-spot.  The position is now, with the
lead in dummy:                                            
                   ♠ 7654
                   ♥ K7
                   ♦ J3
                   ♣ 5                                
                                   ♠ K93  
                                   ♥ ---     
                                   ♦ K72
                                   ♣ QJ10

                   ♠ ---
                   ♥ J865
                   ♦ A109
                   ♣ A42

     Dummy’s spade spots have suddenly become powerful enough to 
take two ruffing finesses through RHO’s remaining high spades.  
Lead the 7, intending to discard a diamond if next hand plays low.
When he covers with the 9 instead, ruff in hand, then play the 
ace of clubs and ruff a club back to dummy.  Now lead another 
spade, forcing RHO to cover with the king, which you ruff again.
Dummy’s lowly 5-4 of spades are now established.  Ruff your last 
club in dummy, play those good spades, and away go your two low
diamonds, scoring +710.  The full deal:

                          ♠ AJ7654
                          ♥ K1074
                          ♦ J3
                          ♣ 5

          ♠ 108                          ♠ KQ932
          ♥ 93                           ♥ Q
          ♦ Q864                         ♦ K72
          ♣ 98763                        ♣ KQJ10

                          ♠ ----
                          ♥ AJ8652
                          ♦ A1095
                          ♣ A42

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