Daily Bridge Club
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.
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.
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