Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - WATCH ON PRESTO - with DOU­GLAS NEW­LANDS

This hand shows an all too com­mon er­ror made by de­clar­ers. In this case, West care­fully made de­clarer pay for the lapse. North opened a 1D since the hand was not in the range of a 1NT opener and had a sim­ple raise of part­ner’s 1H re­sponse. South had plenty of val­ues for the jump to game. West led the 6S and de­clarer paused to con­sider the play. If the heart honours are split, two fi­nesses will yield three win­ners to go with one spades, three di­a­monds, two clubs and two club ruffs. So de­clarer won the ace of spades and played king, ace and an­other club. West dis­carded a spade and dummy ruffed. Now de­clarer led the 9H and ran it round to West’s queen and West re­turned an­other heart. Now, when de­clarer beat the king with the ace, there was an unan­tic­i­pated prob­lem. When the fourth club was led, West ruffed it and ex­ited qui­etly with a di­a­mond. Even though the di­a­monds split 3- 3, de­clarer could only make 11 tricks for a poor match­point score.

Cer­tainly, West had done well not ruff­ing the third club since it would get over- ruffed and trumps would fall eas­ily. The prob­lem lay in de­clarer’s play of the trump suit. If de­clarer had led a small heart from ta­ble and fol­lowed the same line of play then the 9H would still be avail­able to over- ruff the fourth club if West ruffed. This sim­ple change would let de­clarer make 12 tricks for a good score.

More of­ten the mat­ter of lead­ing small cards to­wards large ones is to take ad­van­tage of the place­ment of a de­fen­sive win­ner. A typ­i­cal ex­am­ple is: In this case, if South leads twice to­wards dummy, the de­fend­ers only make one trick. If a care­less de­clarer leads small to­wards the king and, af­ter it wins, plays the queen, the de­fend­ers have two tricks. One of the ba­sic rules of card play is that one leads small cards to­wards big cards as of­ten as pos­si­ble.

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