22 English Bridge February 2016 www.ebu.co.uk
THE CONTRACT is 4´. West leads the ®J. How
would you plan the play?
As this is a series on suit combinations you may be
agonising over the best way you can play hearts for
two losers. If so you are on the wrong track. There
are very few combinations where you are not better
off forcing the defence into leading a tricky suit,
rather than opening it up yourself. This applies
particularly to combinations with scattered
honours and intermediates. In this hand you can
easily do that. Win the ®A, draw trumps, complete
the elimination of clubs by cashing your ®K and
®Q and play tA followed by a second diamond.
So far you have not needed to put any thought into
how to play the hearts. You have no minor suit cards
left. This is the position you have reached:
The poor defender now on lead cannot lead a minor
suit card without conceding a ruff and discard. He
has no trump left to lead, and is left with no choice
but to play a heart.
1. If East has won the diamond trick he
immediately solves your problem.
2. If West wins the diamond and exits with a low
heart, play low from dummy and allow East to
win. East is now endplayed.
The only heart exit from West that will give you any
problem is the ™Q (or ™J). If you think West has ™J
as well, allow the ™Q to win and play low on the
heart continuation, hopefully forcing East to waste
his ™A to prevent your ™10 scoring.
A good West player will see you are preparing an
endplay and might exit with the ™Q from a holding
like ™Q-5-3, seeing that as the only chance to give
you a losing option. If you believe that West has this
holding you might cover the ™Q with the ™K,
leaving your ™10 sitting after East's ™J.
Of course if West exits with the ™Q (or ™J) you
might guess wrong. It is not 100% foolproof but it
won't damage you to force opponents to open up a
messy suit like the hearts.
Enlisting opponents' help Andrew Kambites
´ K J 10 6 2
™ K 7 6
t A 6
® Q 7 2
´ A Q 5 4 3
™ 10 8 2
t J 7
® A K 8
´ J 10 6
™ K 7 6
t - ®
´ Q 5 4
™ 10 8 2
t - ®
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