Page 0008

English Bridge October 2018 www.ebu.co.uk

8

T

his article continues merrily on its way on

the theme of how to handle common suit

combinations. Consider the layout of the

diamond suit here. How would (or should) you

handle it?

Suit combinations - Part 5

Basic Cardplay

click

link

t J 4 2

t A K 9 6 3

N

W E

S

South plays in

3NT. West leads

the ™6.

´ A 9 7 5

™ Q 7

t J 4 2

® A 7 6 3

´ K 8 3

™ A 5

t A K 9 6 3

® 10 5 2

N

W E

S

You suspect the question contains a trap? Quite

right! All suit combinations need to be considered

in the context of a full deal. To answer correctly you

need know the contract and, therefore, how many

tricks are needed in the suit.

So, let's put this suit combination into a workaday

3NT. West leads a low heart - how should you play?

and, assuming the queen hasn't fallen from West,

continue with the king.

You will make your contract whenever either

opponent started with tQx and also on the rare

occasion when West has the singleton queen (in that

event you should play the second diamond to the

jack and finesse against East's remaining t10x).

Now, suppose that the ™Q holds the first trick.

How does that alter your Count and Plan?

In this case you have five top tricks, so only need

four diamond tricks. Playing off the tAK and

another would be fine on any 3-2 break (and would

gain an overtrick if a defender held tQx) but would

cost you the contract if diamonds split 4-1 with

either East or West held tQ10xx.

So, the key question is whether you are able to

guarantee four diamond tricks against any adverse

distribution. Can you?

The answer is that a 5-0 diamond split would

thwart you, but you can cope with any 4-1 split. To

ensure your contract you must cash a top diamond

and, after both opponents have followed suit, then

lead a low diamond towards the jack on table.

Nothing can beat you now. If West has four

diamonds then he can either take his queen or allow

you to make the jack. If East has four diamonds you

play dummy's jack and then have a marked finesse

against East's remaining t10x. The full deal follows:

There is little option at trick one - you have to

close your eyes and call for dummy's ™Q. Let's

assume that East is mean enough to produce the

king on that. What's your Count and Plan in that

case?

You have four top tricks outside of the diamond

suit (to wit: two spades, one heart, and one club) To

make 3NT you need to bring in five diamond tricks

- and pronto. To that end you must cash the tA

Unfortunately it haslou@ebu.co.ukttention that

emails sent from btinternet accounts to

lou@ebu.co.uk have failed to come through to

me recently, and possibly for a long time. The

problem has now been resolved, but I must

apologise to all those who might have emailed

me and had no reply. It must have felt

inexcusable. Please feel free to try again. I hope to

hear from more of you soon. Lou Hobhouse

TRIED CONTACTING THE EDITOR?

Index

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