BRIDGE

National Post (Latest Edition) - - DIVERSIONS - By Paul Thurston Feed­back al­ways wel­come at tweedguy@gmail.com

An oft-quoted tru­ism: “Newer play­ers learn how to fi­nesse while ex­perts learn how not to!”

In a tour­na­ment setting with play­ers of vary­ing de­grees of ex­pe­ri­ence, East opened two clubs to show a lim­ited hand (10-15 high­card points) with long clubs. West’s re­sponse was nat­u­ral and non-forc­ing, and North’s take­out dou­ble got his side into the bid­ding.

More clubs and no en­thu­si­asm for spades from East to ex­tract an op­ti­mistic shot at three notrump from South — he did, af­ter all, have some val­ues in the suits his op­po­nents had bid.

South ducked East’s club Jack at trick one and won the con­tin­u­a­tion to cross his fin­gers and play on di­a­monds. The 2-2 split meant he was in with a chance as he cashed out the suit while pay­ing care­ful at­ten­tion to the dis­cards.

East first pitched the heart nine and then two small clubs while West let go of one heart and two small spades.

With his con­tract on the line, South led and passed the heart Queen but the fi­nesse lost so that de­clarer then had to suf­fer through East cash­ing three more club win­ners for down one.

Les­son to be learned: Don’t take a fi­nesse that the op­po­nents have more or less told you is un­likely to suc­ceed! With West likely to hold the spade King for his re­sponse (and East’s club re­bid), the open­ing bid­der re­ally needs to have the heart King to war­rant an open­ing bid.

So­lu­tion: Af­ter tak­ing the di­a­mond tricks, cash the spade ace and exit with the club ten to wait for two heart tricks on the way back — end­plays are al­ways more fun than fi­nesses!

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