stevesgames (stevesgames) wrote,
stevesgames
stevesgames

Bridge Column


                                                         

                     PLAYS I WISH I HAD MADE

                       by Stephen Rzewski


     Following are two hands that came my way in a team match
at the Gatlinburg Regional which I failed to get right at the 
table.  They are difficult problems, but not impossible.  See
if you would have fared better.

     (1)The first is a play problem.  You are South, with the
 auction shown:

                          North

                         ♠ KQ2
                         ♥ 74
                         ♦ QJ763
                         ♣ K32
                                                              

                          South

                         ♠ A109863
                         ♥ Q83
                         ♦ A2
                         ♣ Q7

              W        N        E        S
             1♥        P        P       1♠ 
              P       2♥       dbl      4♠
               (all pass)


     West leads the ace and king of hearts, East following 
low-high.  West then shifts to the jack of spades.  How would 
you proceed (be specific)?


     (2)The next hand is a defensive problem.  You are East,
behind the dummy:

                                     
                  North

                 ♠ J109842
                 ♥ 5
                 ♦ K102
                 ♣ K74

                                     East

                                    ♠ 3
                                    ♥ AKQ2
                                    ♦ J9863
                                    ♣ AJ10

                  E        S        W        N
                 1♦       1♠        P       4♠   
                     (all pass)

     West leads the ace of diamonds, on which you discourage.
Partner shifts to the 8 of clubs, implying that she does not 
have the queen.  This puts you in something of a quandary: 
if by some chance partner’s ace of diamonds was a singleton,
it would be correct to win this trick so as to give her a 
diamond ruff.  But if it should turn out that partner has 
another diamond, then you will need two club tricks to beat
the contract, and playing the ace would be wrong.  You decide
to opt for the latter case and put in the 10, declarer winning 
the queen.

     Declarer then plays the ace and king of spades, partner
following twice, and indicating that declarer overcalled on a 
4-card suit.  Then come three more spades, ending in the dummy,
partner discarding two small hearts and a club.

     You follow to the first spade, but must then make four 
discards.  Which cards do you throw away?

                *********************************

Answers:

     (1)At trick #3, you must play a spade honor from dummy 
and overtake with the ace in your hand!  Next, lead your low 
club toward the dummy.  The full deal:
   
                          North

                         ♠ KQ2
                         ♥ 74
                         ♦ QJ763
                         ♣ K32

            West                         East

           ♠ J                          ♠ 754
           ♥ AK1062                     ♥ J95
           ♦ K105                       ♦ 984
           ♣ A984                       ♣ J1065

                         South

                        ♠ A109863
                        ♥ Q83
                        ♦ A2
                        ♣ Q7

     On your play of the low club, West will be caught in a
“Morton’s Fork” dilemma (see previous column with that title). 
If he goes up with the ace, he will return either a heart or
club, which you will win in your hand.  If he returns a heart,
unblock the queen of clubs, then play two rounds of trumps, 
ending in the dummy, and discard your diamond loser on the 
king of clubs, having no further problems.

     If West ducks the ace of clubs, win the king and play 
dummy’s low spade to your hand (you can now see the need for
the first spade plays, since if you had not unblocked one of
dummy’s honors earlier, you would have no convenient way to
get back to your hand at this point).  Then play the queen 
of hearts, discarding a club from dummy, and exit with a club,
putting West on lead with the following cards left:

                                    
                            ♠ K
                            ♥ ---
                            ♦ QJ763
                            ♣ ---

           ♠ ---                             ♠ 7
           ♥ 10                              ♥ ---
           ♦ K105                            ♦ 984
           ♣ 98                              ♣ J10

                           ♠ 9863
                           ♥ ---
                           ♦ A2
                           ♣ ---

     With a trump still in dummy and the hearts and clubs
eliminated from the N-S hands. West is endplayed, having to
either give you a free diamond finesse, or a ruff in dummy 
and sluff of your low diamond, should he play either a heart 
or a club.


     (2)On the defensive problem, you may discard one diamond 
only, then throw away your ace, king, and queen of hearts! 
The full deal:

                            North

                           ♠ J109842
                           ♥ 5
                           ♦ K102
                           ♣ K74

            West                             East

           ♠76                              ♠ 3
           ♥J87643                          ♥ AKQ2
           ♦ A                              ♦ J9863
           ♣ 8653                           ♣ AJ10

                           South

                          ♠ AKQ5
                          ♥ 109
                          ♦ Q754
                          ♣ Q92

     From your standpoint, if partner did in fact start
with a singleton ace of diamonds, then declarer has four,
and you must keep equal length with him in that suit, lest 
his 4th diamond become good for the game-going trick (partner
should help you here by making an early discard of a diamond, 
if she has one).  So you must discard three hearts.  Look what
will happen on the actual layout if you come down to a stiff 
honor in that suit.  Leaving one trump in dummy, declarer 
will test the diamonds by playing the king, then the 10 (which
you will cover) to his queen.  Knowing that you have a high
diamond left, he will ruff his small diamond with dummy’s last
trump, then lead a heart.  Forced to win that trick, you will
now be endplayed in clubs and obliged to concede a trick to 
dummy’s king.

     So you must simply throw all of your heart honors away
and hope for partner to hold the jack, so that in the end 
she will get in with that card and play a 2nd club through 
the dummy.

     It appears that your side can make 11 tricks in hearts,
but it is difficult to bid 5H over the opponents’ 4S, unless
either your hand elected to open 1H, or if partner made an 
understrength negative double over South’s overcall.
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