Hon­or­able tech­nique

Daily Bridge Club

The Saratogian (Saratoga, NY) - - CLASSIFIED - By FRANK STE­WART

I got an­other let­ter from the So­ci­ety of Fi­nessers, com­plain­ing that fi­nesses never win in my deals.

“Sir: We must again con­demn your dis­dain for the fi­nesse, an hon­or­able tech­nique that suc­ceeds fully half the time, ex­cept in your col­umns.”

I’m not anti-fi­nesse — when no other play is avail­able. Against to­day’s three spades, East takes three clubs and shifts to a di­a­mond: queen, king. West next leads a heart. South grabs dummy’s ace — East must have the king for his open­ing bid — takes the ace of di­a­monds, leads a trump to dummy and ruffs a di­a­mond. When the suit fails to break 3-3, South loses a heart.

BET­TER PLAY

South has missed the best play. He must take the ace of di­a­monds at Trick Four and next lead the queen.

If West shifts to a heart, South takes the ace, ruffs a di­a­mond, leads a trump to dummy and ruffs a di­a­mond. He can draw trumps in dummy and pitch a heart on the good di­a­mond. South can ex­pect to suc­ceed if di­a­monds break 3-3 or 4-2: about an 84 per­cent chance.

DAILY QUES­TION

You hold: K Q 2 A Q 8 6 4 3 2 8 5 2. Your part­ner opens one di­a­mond. The next player passes. What do you say?

AN­SWER: This is a judg­ment call, and sys­tem may mat­ter. Some play­ers might re­spond 2NT, which in their style is in­vi­ta­tional, show­ing about 11 points. Others would bid three di­a­monds as a “limit raise.” Many pairs use “in­verted” mi­nor-suit raises and would bid two di­a­monds, forc­ing. Ask your fa­vorite part­ner what call he would make. East dealer N-S vul­ner­a­ble

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