Goren on Bridge
North-South vulnerable, North deals
The opening lead will sometimes give us a free finesse, meaning we can play low from dummy and ride the lead around to our hand, insuring us against a possible foul split in the suit that was led. The trump lead in today’s deal is a case in point. We can run the lead to our hand in case West led from an original holding of four to the jack. That would be an error here, however. No player would lead a trump from four to the jack.
The contract seems to depend on a diamond guess, assuming a winning guess is possible. There is an important extra chance that requires us to make careful use of the dummy entries. South should win the opening club lead in dummy and ruff a spade. A low trump to dummy’s remaining honor will see the suit split 2-2 and allow declarer to cash the ace-king of spades, discarding two diamonds, and then ruff another spade. The 4-4 split in spades allows South to cash the ace and king of hearts, ruff a heart in dummy, and discard another diamond on the established spade. No diamond guess required!
Bridge great Larry Cohen, recently voted into the Hall of Fame, is giving a series of one-hour presentations on Mondays from 2-3 Eastern Daylight time. He is having a different celebrity bridge guest each week and he has asked me to be his guest this Monday, June 29. Please sign up and make me look good! Go to www.larryco.com for details.