Bridge Hand Of The Week

An Extra Chance

Dec 28, 2009
Dlr: South Vul: E-W
5 13
8 9 8 3 2 A J 6 10 9 8 7 4

J 9 7 4 3 K Q J 6 4 Q 10 A
West 1NT Pass All Pass
NorthHampso Pass 3
East Pass Pass
SouthGreco 124

This deal from the 2006 Rosenblum Cup in Verona, Italy, was reported by Brian Senior and illustrated how careful declarer play can pay big dividends. See if you can do as well as Eric Greco, who was playing with Geoff Hampson.

West leads the 7. Plan the play.

Solution

5 18 4 13
8 9 8 3 2 A J 6 10 9 8 7 4
A K 2 A 10 7 K 9 7 4 2 K J
Q 10 6 5 5 8 5 3 Q 6 5 3 2

J 9 7 4 3 K Q J 6 4 Q 10 A

In one room, where the contract was also 4 on the lead of the 7, the Indian declarer won in dummy with the 9 and played a spade to West, who then played the A and another heart, East pitching a club and a heart.

In hand, declarer played the Q to the king and ace, returned to hand with the 10, ruffed a spade and pitched a spade on the J. He still had to lose two spades, however, and was one down.

When Greco played the contract, he took the opening heart lead in hand, played a spade toward dummy. West went up with a high spade and played two more rounds of trumps, just as in the other room. Now Greco found a crucial extra chance. He cashed the A before leading the Q to the king and ace, then he ruffed a club, noting the fall of a second honor from West.

Judging the clubs to have started out 5-2, Greco ruffed a spade and led the 10 for a ruffing finesse, claiming when West showed out. He conceded a diamond at the end because he had to overtake the 10 with the jack to get to the good clubs. His careful play netted his team 10 IMPs.