Bridge Hand Of The Week
Playing the odds
Apr 30, 2018
(1) At least 5-5 in the majors
West starts with the K against your slam. How do you plan to bring this contract home?
Declarer won with dummy’s A and cashed the A and K, noting that West followed suit to both.
West’s overcall had promised at least 5-5 in the majors, so West had at most one club. Declarer saw that there was no point in playing the A and another heart as that approach would succeed only if West had three trumps: Otherwise, West would play low on the second heart and let East ruff.
The issue facing declarer, therefore, was the identity of West’s third minor-suit card. One option was an immediate club finesse for the jack, but, declarer found a good way of minimizing the risk that West would win a finesse with the singleton J. He left the last trump outstanding and led the J from dummy, discarding a club on it. West won the Q and could have returned:
A – A spade: Declarer would have discarded a heart, drawn the remaining trump and finessed clubs.
B – A heart: Declarer would have won in dummy, discarded another club and drawn the trump.
C – A club: Declarer would have won, led a trump to dummy and discarded a heart on the spade.
D – A trump: Declarer would won in dummy, discarded a heart, and taken the then-safe club finesse.
Only when West returned a spade would declarer have needed to riskily run the 10. Even then, East was a 5-1 favorite to hold the J. The full deal: