Page 0008

8 English Bridge June 2019 www.ebu.co.uk

T

his article concerns itself with how to handle

the following innocent looking combination

of cards:

Suit combinations - Part 7

Basic Cardplay

click

link

Your Count and Plan tells you that you have

seven easy top tricks (two spades, two hearts, two

diamonds and a club). If you could make four tricks

out of the diamonds you'd be able to bring the

contract home for sure. So, what is your line of play?

Note that you have an outside entry to the

diamonds here in the guise of the ™A (assuming

you don't squander it at trick two!) So, what do you

do in diamonds? Duck the first round? Play off the

tA K and another?

The answer is that you must cash the tA and play

another. If West follows suit to the second round

with a low card you must insert the ten, ensuring

your contract whether East wins the trick or not.

Here is the full deal:

South plays in

3NT. West leads

the ™10.

´ 8 6 3

™ A 5 2

t K 10 7 6 3

® 9 3

´ A K

™ Q J 4

t A 5 2

® A J 6 4 2

N

W E

S

Example 1

t K 10 7 6 3

t A 5 2

N

W E

S

Example 1

t A K 7 6 3

t 10 5 2

N

W E

S

Hand 1. 3NT by South. West leads the ™10

´ 8 6 3

™ A 5 2

t K 10 7 6 3

® 9 3

´ Q 7 5 ´ J 10 9 4 2

™ 10 9 8 6 ™ K 7 3

t Q J 8 4 t 9

® K 10 ® Q 8 7 5

´ A K

™ Q J 4

t A 5 2

® A J 6 4 2

N

W E

S

then it would normally be best to duck the first

round to develop the suit and hope for a 3-2 break.

Cashing the top cards, hoping for the 3% chance

that one of the opponents held tQJ doubleton,

would be pushing your luck too far and, besides,

you'd need an outside entry to return to the North

hand.

So, returning to the original combination, is it

right to duck the first round of the suit?

The second point to make is that suit

combinations should usually be taken within the

context of a full deal. So let's see how you might

handle 3NT on this full deal. West leads the ™10,

you play low from the table allowing East to take the

™K and return a heart. What next?

Assume you are playing in some number of no

trumps - just how do you play this suit?

There are a couple of points to make here. The

first is that it is often right to duck the first round of

a suit when there is an inevitable loser. Thus, with

something like:

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