Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - WATCH ON PRESTO -

This hand re­vis­its the theme of the ap­par­ent two-way fi­nesse be­ing a one-way fi­nesse in re­al­ity. The auc­tion is rather agri­cul­tural as North-South had no way of set­ting hearts as trumps and ask­ing about slam suit­abil­ity and 4NT, ask­ing for aces, wouldn’t re­ally help. North just bid what he hoped his mate, Rex, could make. A so­phis­ti­cated pair might bid 3S over 2H and use it to ar­ti­fi­cially set hearts and use some cue bids to as­sess how they each felt about slam. The slam is not great since there is a deep loser in at least one mi­nor and a fi­nesse for the queen of trumps. Rex quickly won the 10S open­ing lead in hand and, de­cid­ing there was no clue as to which way to take the trump fi­nesse, he ran the jack of hearts. When this lost to the queen, he now had no way to make the con­tract and was for­tu­nate to be only one off for a close to av­er­age score since many went two of in a slam. Un­lucky or an­other wrecked con­tract?

Pairs, NS vul, Dealer East

Rex, like many, can­not see past the trumps split­ting 3-2. If some bridge de­ity as­sured you that trumps were 3-2 then Rex’s line is still wrong. Cash­ing ei­ther the ace or king first then try­ing to fi­nesse the queen will save you from los­ing to some queen dou­ble­ton hold­ings. How­ever, there are no nice bridge gods, only cruel ones, so we need to han­dle 4-1 splits as well. Even if Rex finds the sin­gle­ton queen on­side, he has to lose the fourth round of trumps to the nine! It is clearly bet­ter to play the king first and then fi­nesse the jack. This picks up any sin­gle­ton queen and avoids los­ing the fourth round to the nine. De­spite Rex’s as­ser­tion, this is not a two way fi­nesse and de­clarer should get this right as the cards lie. Hav­ing got trumps right, which mi­nor do you play? If you play clubs and dis­card a di­a­mond on the fourth round, you can­not ruff the two di­a­mond losers. How­ever, if you play di­a­monds and luck­ily find them 3-3 or QJ dou­ble­ton, you can dis­card a club and ruff South’s last spade for twelve tricks.

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