Another letter arrived from the Society of Finessers, complaining that finesses never win in my columns.
The Society won’t like today’s deal. At 3NT, South took the king of spades and led a club to dummy’s queen. East won and returned a spade.
Declarer then led a club to dummy’s ace and let the jack of diamonds ride. The jack held — finesses sometimes work even in my world — and South took five diamond tricks. But he had only eight tricks in all, and when he led a heart next, West took the rest.
It’s probably not easy to see at first glance, but South’s club finesse was incorrect. Even if it won, he would still need to run the diamonds to make 3NT.
If South leads a club at Trick Two (a heart would be better), he should play the ace and finesse in diamonds. After he runs the diamonds, he leads a heart to set up his ninth trick while he still has the ace of spades.
Question: You hold: ♠ A K♥ Q 10 7 ♦ AQ962 ♣ 964. The dealer, at your right, opens one club. You overcall one diamond, and your partner bids one heart. The opponents pass. What do you say? Answer: Many experts would treat partner’s one heart as neither forcing nor encouraging. In the style I advocate, where a simple overcall suggests opening values or more, a new-suit “advance” by partner is forcing. But in either style, I would surely raise to two hearts.
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