Bridge An­drew Rob­son

The Oldie - - NEWS -

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

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