BRIDGE

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

This hand is a dif­fi­cult one from the ANOT Teams event a few weeks ago. The auc­tion is sim­ple and it’s not clear whether 4H is bet­ter than 4S or not. When West leads the KD, it is clear that one of the di­a­mond en­tries to the heart suit is van­ish­ing im­me­di­ately. There are also the prob­lems of whether to take the heart fi­nesse or ruff­ing fi­nesse and how to take a trump fi­nesse and how deep. Some­times th­ese hands work bet­ter by play­ing a ruff­ing game which was what was done at the table. De­clarer put up the ace of di­a­monds and led a club on which East rose with the ace and the de­fend­ers played two more rounds of di­a­monds. It’s still not re­ally clear what to play but de­clarer played ace of hearts and heart ruff then king of clubs and a club ruff. Now an­other heart and East dis­cards a club so ruff with the eight of spades. Now cash the ace of spades and the fourth club is ruffed with the 9S and over ruffed by East with the ten.

Ev­ery­one is now down to two cards and East re­turns the four of spades. Do you play the king or the jack? There are two ways to answers this. The count­ing method notes that the hearts were 4-2 and the di­a­monds seem to be 4-3 and both de­fend­ers had four clubs to start with. Also West fol­lowed to the ace of spades and so West seems to be 1444 and the jack of spades is clear in that case. Is there any chance that West is ac­tu­ally 2434? This would re­quire the op­po­nents to per­spi­ca­ciously false card on tricks one, three and four and so is un­likely.

How­ever, there is sim­pler con­sid­er­a­tion which gets to the cor­rect con­clu­sion with­out all this count­ing! Clearly East has the four of spades and one other card. If it is the queen of spades, you must play the jack. If East’s sec­ond card is not the queen of spades (the thir­teenth di­a­mond here), he will re­turn that and his part­ner will make the queen of spades en pas­sant by ei­ther over ruff­ing the jack of spades or dis­card­ing the other card un­der de­clarer’s king. Much eas­ier see­ing it that way!

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