Page 0010

10 English Bridge April 2018 www.ebu.co.uk

´ 10 6 3 2

™ Q J 10

t K 9

® A K 3 2

´ 4 ´ Q 9 7 5

™ 7 6 5 2 ™ A 4 3

t Q J 10 6 3 t A 7 5 2

® 9 7 4 ® J 10

´ A K J 8

™ K 9 8

t 8 4

® Q 8 6 5

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his article continues the theme of how to

handle common suit combinations.

The trump suit in the example deal today is

frequently misplayed. You arrive in 4´ after a

Stayman sequence and West leads the tQ. That's

annoying, because it tells you immediately that you

have two diamond losers. What is your Count and

Plan. How might you make your game contract?

one is not relevant) and play ace and another heart.

What next?

Some players would take the second heart on

table and lead the ´10, intending to finesse. Others

would take the ™K, cash a top spade, cross to

dummy with a club and lead a spade to the jack.

Both of these lines of play are subtly wrong - can

you see why?

Let's look at the play of leading the ´10 on the

first round of the suit, intending to run it. That

works in most cases when East holds the queen, but

not if it is singleton. Now West's ´9 x x x would

score a trick. This line would also fail if West started

with a singleton queen. Neither of these

distributions is all that likely, but they are certainly

possible.

So it is certainly the right play to take the ™K at

trick four and lay down a top spade. Should the ´Q

fall then the rest is a simple mopping-up-andscoring

operation. If, on the other hand, all follow

small (as is most likely) then you should cross to a

top club and lead the ´10, certainly not a low spade,

on the second round of the suit.

What's the difference between leading the ten on

the second round and leading a low card on the

second round? Ah! What if spades are 4-1? In that

case, East would have ´Q 9 x x and you could still

pick them up, with two finesses in the same suit.

Consider a possible full deal:

Suit combinations - Part 2

Basic Cardplay

click

link

´ 10 6 3 2

™ Q J 10

t K 9

® A K 3 2

´ A K J 8

™ K 9 8

t 8 4

® Q 8 6 5

Hand 1. South

plays in 4´. West

leads the tQ.

With two sure diamonds to lose (who would lead

the tQ from tA Q J against a suit contract? Not

anyone we know) and the ™A off the top it all boils

down to not losing a trump. So that is the focus -

how are you going to play the spade suit for no

losers?

Obviously you are going to need a little luck, but

how can you make the most of your chances?

Those of you who have ploughed diligently

through previous articles will know that the clovenhoofed

play of the ´A K, hoping to fell the ´Q in

two rounds, is well against the odds. The answer,

therefore, is that you must take the trump finesse. If

that is your answer then all well and good, but it is

a partial answer. How precisely, should you handle

the spade suit?

The defenders take two rounds of diamonds

(whether or not you call for dummy's king at trick

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Index

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