Country Life Every Week - - Books - An­drew Rob­son

For a change, there is no par­tic­u­lar theme this week, just like at the ta­ble, where no one whis­pers ‘This is a Squeeze’ or ‘This is a Dummy re­ver­sal’.

How would you de­clare Six Spades on our first deal, with East hav­ing bid Hearts? West leads the ten of Hearts.

You can count 11 win­ners, via seven Spades, Ace-king of Di­a­monds, a Di­a­mond ruff in dummy and the Ace of Clubs. The Club fi­nesse (low to the Queen) is the clear­est chance of a 12th trick, but East’s bid sug­gests he might hold the King.

In fact, there is an 100% line on the as­sump­tion East holds both top Hearts. Can you find it?

Don’t point­lessly cover the ten of Hearts with dummy’s Knave (and go down). Play low and ruff in hand. Cash the Ace-king of Spades, draw­ing trumps (East dis­card­ing two Hearts), then cross to the King of Di­a­monds, back to the Ace and ruff the third Di­a­mond to elim­i­nate the suit.

The scene is set. At trick seven, lead dummy’s Queen of Hearts and, when East cov­ers it with the King, dis­card a Club from hand (key play). East is end­played.

If he leads another Heart (low or the Ace), dummy’s Knave is pro­moted for a sec­ond Club dis­card.

If he leads a fourth Di­a­mond, you can dis­card a Club from hand and ruff in dummy, again ob­vi­at­ing the need for the Club fi­nesse.

Fi­nally, a Club from the King runs round to dummy’s Ace- Queen. Twelve tricks and slam made.

Lack of dummy en­tries is the prob­lem on our sec­ond deal, a game.

West led out three top Hearts, de­clarer ruff­ing care­fully with the nine, to pre­serve his two as a way to reach dummy.

At trick four, he led the King of Spades, West win­ning the Ace and re­turn­ing a pas­sive sec­ond Spade. De­clarer won dummy’s eight, un­der­play­ing with his pre­cious two, and was in dummy for the one and only time.

De­clarer needed East to have both mi­nor-suit Kings to have a chance. Even as­sum­ing that, he had to be care­ful.

Say he leads the ten of Clubs and runs it. If he then leads the Queen of Clubs, East cov­ers with the King. He wins the Ace and cashes the Knave, but has no way back to dummy to take the Di­a­mond fi­nesse. Down one.

There is only one way to suc­ceed. De­clarer must lead the Queen of Clubs and (as­sum­ing East plays low—best) un­block the Knave from hand (key play). He then fol­lows with the ten (or nine) of Clubs.

If East plays low again, he re­mains in dummy to lead a Di­a­mond to the Queen. How­ever, if East cov­ers the ten with the King, de­clarer wins the Ace, crosses to the nine and again leads a Di­a­mond to the Queen. Ten tricks and game made.

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