The Weekend Australian - Review
Knowing when to draw trumps is a mighty useful skill. It is normal to start by drawing trumps. Is this another routine example?
The four-heart opening is a good practical bid. You expect it to have a decent play and you can rule out slam, given that partner has passed.
West leads the ace of diamonds and switches to the 10 of clubs. You have seven trump tricks and the black aces for a total of nine. Where is the 10th trick coming from?
At the table, declarer grabbed the ace of clubs and carefully drew trumps before taking the spade finesse. Considering that West has shown up with the ace-king of diamonds, it is likely that East has the king of spades, but not today. West took the king of spades and declarer was one down. Can it be made?
You bet… the way to make the hand is to make better use of your diamond pips.
Take the ace of clubs and immediately play a diamond and throw the losing club. West takes the jack and continues with a club. You ruff and play ace and a trump to dummy. You lead another diamond and throw a spade. West takes the ace of diamonds, but now the last diamond is good for your 10th trick and the king of hearts is your entry.
It is worth noting that you could not afford to touch trumps straightaway. Even one lead of trumps would have left you short of entries to dummy.
The general advice we teachers give to beginners is to start by drawing trumps. But I often think it would be more accurate to suggest conducting a little business in the other suits before turning to trumps.
The current pandemic has had the expected impact on bridge. ABF Marketing Manager Peter Cox reports that in 2020, 235 of the 340 active bridge clubs in Australia had a decline in ABF registered players.