Will this fi­nesse or that fi­nesse win?

Cecil Whig - - & & - By Phillip Alder

How is a bridge fi­nesse de­fined? I found this at dic­tio­nary.com: An at­tempt to win a trick with a card while hold­ing a higher card not in se­quence with it, in the hope that the card or cards be­tween will not be played. That mouth­ful is cor­rect. Al­most ev­ery deal fea­tures at least one fi­nesse, and some con­tracts may de­pend on a key fi­nesse, or on which fi­nesse is (fi­nesses are) taken, or both.

In this deal, South is in six notrump, and West leads the club nine. What hap­pens af­ter that? What do you think of the bid­ding?

To con­sider the auc­tion first, South be­lieved that North’s four no-trump was Ro­man Key Card Black­wood in spades, so he showed three key cards (two aces and the spade king, or three aces). North had in­tended it as quan­ti­ta­tive, invit­ing a slam. Dis­cuss this with your part­ner. (I like to use four no-trump as quan­ti­ta­tive, with four clubs as RKCB.)

South had 10 top tricks: four spades, one heart, one diamond and four clubs. To get two more tricks, he had four fi­nesses avail­able: two in hearts and two in di­a­monds. Which should he have taken? South had to hope ei­ther that East had the diamond king, or that West had at least one heart honor. The straight diamond fi­nesse was a 50-50 shot, but the dou­ble heart fi­nesse had a 76 per­cent chance of suc­cess. So, at trick two, South played a heart to dummy’s eight. East won with his king and shifted to a diamond, but de­clarer won with his ace and ran the heart 10. When that worked, he played a heart to dummy’s jack and claimed.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.