Bridge Andrew Robson
Here’s a Suit Combination quiz. Play these suits to best effect: (a) ♠ A65432 facing ♠ KJ87 (b) ♥ AK32 facing ♥ Q1054 (c) ♣ Q104 facing ♣ AK6532 The key to all three is to cash the honour in the opposite hand to the finesse position, so retaining finesse opportunities should the right opponent show out void. In (a) you cash ♠ A first, enabling you to pick up ♠ Q109 in front of ♠ KJ (nothing you can do if ♠ Q109 is sitting over ♠ KJ). In (b) cash ♥ AK, preserving ♥ Q10 finesse position should the opponent in front of ♥ Q10 prove to have ♥ J9 remaining. In (c) cash ♣ A (or ♣ K) first, in case the opponent after ♣ Q10 shows out and you can utilise ♣ Q10 finesse position. Now see if you can make this month’s Grand Slam. Dealer South Neither Side Vulnerable (1) Through rose-tinted spectacles. West leads ♥ A and you ruff with ♦ 2. And now?
The only danger is a 4-0 split in trumps. If East holds ♦ J1076, you cannot avoid a trump loser. However, you have a double finesse position ( ♦ AK8) sitting over a
♦ J1076 holding in the West hand. To retain this possible finesse position, you must start trumps by leading ♦ Q from your hand at trick two (key play).
East does indeed discard on ♦ Q, so you lead ♦ 3 to West’s ♦ 10 and dummy’s ♦ K. You ruff ♥ 8 with ♦ 9 and lead ♦ 5 to ♦ 7 and dummy’s ♦ 8. You cash dummy’s ♦ A discarding ♠ 2, then dummy’s ♠ AK, and enjoy your last last five cards which are winning clubs. Grand slam made. Did you start diamonds by leading ♦ Q? ANDREW ROBSON