Con­tract Bridge

The Weekly Vista - - Fun & Games - by Steve Becker

Ris­ing to the oc­ca­sion

As­sume you’re in three notrump and West leads the jack of hearts. How would you play the hand?

It may be tempt­ing to fi­nesse the queen of hearts, but this is demon­stra­bly the wrong play — and in the ac­tual deal would prove fa­tal. In­stead, you should go up with the ace, rea­son­ing that if West has the king of hearts and has led the jack from a suit headed by the K-J-10, dummy’s queen will serve as a sec­ond stop­per later on. And if East has the king, the queen is surely the wrong play.

After ris­ing with the ace, you should then at­tack clubs, forc­ing out the ace. In the ac­tual deal, West has the ace, but he can­not harm you, what­ever he re­turns. If he shifts to a spade, you win and take the diamond fi­nesse. East has the king, but, what­ever he leads next, you have nine tricks in the till.

If West re­turns a heart after tak­ing the ace of clubs, you are on per­fectly safe ground. If he leads the ten of hearts, you cover it with the queen to es­tab­lish a sec­ond heart trick with your nine; if he leads a lower heart in­stead of the ten, you fol­low low from dummy to ac­com­plish the same re­sult.

For prac­ti­cal pur­poses, the con­tract can be guar­an­teed by go­ing up with the ace of hearts at trick one. You as­sume from the open­ing lead that West has the ten of hearts, and that he also is the one with the heart length. If these sup­po­si­tions are cor­rect, noth­ing can stop you from mak­ing three notrump.

The deal demon­strates once again that you don’t take a fi­nesse merely be­cause it’s there. There of­ten are other fac­tors to con­sider.

(c) 2017 King Fea­tures Synd., Inc.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.