Page 0022

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

Suit Combinations

Suit Combinations

click

link

´ 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

N

W E

S

´ J 10 6

™ K 7 6

t - ®

-

´ Q 5 4

™ 10 8 2

t - ®

--N

W E

S

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