Cape Times




Executing an end play (my topic this week) may require preparatio­n. For instance, you may need to make it impossible for an opponent to lead safely by “stripping” him of his safe exit cards. In today’s deal, declarer must prepare by taking a finesse. Against six hearts, West leads the king of spades. South takes dummy’s ace and draws trumps. He next cashes the A-K of clubs and ruffs a club so if a defender gets the lead, he can’t lead a club without conceding a ruff-sluff. Success

If at this point declarer exits with a spade, a ruff-sluff won’t guarantee success. He must still locate the queen of diamonds to make the slam. But South has learned that East had six clubs, two trumps and some spades. Since only West can have length in diamonds, South cashes the king and finesses with the ten.

When East discards, South exits with a spade for an end play. If East wins, he must concede a ruff-sluff. If West wins, he must lead a diamond from his queen or concede a ruffsluff.

Daily Question

You hold: ♠85♥ A 10972♦ K J 62♣ A 4. Your partner opens one diamond, you respond one heart and he bids one spade. What do you say?

Answer: If a jump to three diamonds would be forcing in your partnershi­p’s style, that bid is perfect. But many pairs treat such a jumpprefer­ence as invitation­al. (You might hold 8 5, A 10 9 7, Q 762, A 42.) Then you must bid two clubs, a “fourth-suit” call that merely asks partner to continue describing his hand.

South dealer

N-S vulnerable

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