OCT_08_EB_p44-45 Senior + Quiz Answer 12/9/08 12:45 pm Page 41
have second sight, they are bound to help the defence in identical manner, even if This last one was originally played in a US
me out sometimes. Take these examples: they are actually quite different, and you Open Teams trial by many-time world
transfer your problems to them. champion Jeff Meckstroth. Playing with
his usual partner, Eric Rodwell, Meckstroth
(v) ♦ A J 8 (vi) ♦AJ8 A Master shows how to do it opened a strong club as South and Rodwell
responded 1♦, negative, doubled by East
Sometimes, declarer is wide open in a suit to show diamonds. Having shown both
♦ 10 5 4 ♦ K 10 9 and his only hope of not losing several black suits, Meckstroth settled for 3NT,
tricks there, along with his contract, is to against which West led the king of
play on the suit himself: diamonds.
Meckstroth was sure that if he won the
(vii) ♦ K J 6 (viii) ♦ K J 6 ace of diamonds and tried to establish his
♠ 9843 ninth trick by playing a diamond straight
♥ 10 9 8 back the defence would have no option
♦ 10 5 4 ♦ A 10 9 ♦ J 10 9 but to switch to hearts. Of course, Meck-
♣ J43 stroth knew that this would defeat the
♠ 10 6 5 ♠ KQ contract by at least two tricks.
♥ K764 So Meckstroth won the ace of diamonds
(ix) ♦ J 6 3 (x) ♦J63 ♦ K7 S ♦ Q86543 and played the queen of hearts. West won
♣ 752 ♣ 10 the ace of hearts and played a diamond.
♠ AJ72 East fell for the deception; he won the
♦ A K 10 8 5 4 ♦ A 10 8 5 4 ♥ Q diamond and played another diamond,
♦ A2 setting up three diamond winners in his
♣ AKQ986 hand – and declarer claimed his nine
As always, we assume that we have tricks.
no important clues to help us to make our
decision as to how to play the suit. Look at
PRIZE PLAY ANSWER
examples (v) and (vi): if declarer leads the
ten from hand in both cases, how is West
to know whether or not to cover with the
queen? If he does so, he solves the guess in
(vi), while if he plays low in (vi) declarer The snag you can see from the diagram.
goes up with the ace then finesses on the After you play a spade to the ace, you will
Prizes kindly donated by PIATNIK, have three trump losers. Double dummy,
way back. If he holds the queen in (v), it is
you could succeed by playing a spade to
essential that he covers the ten. If West makers of playing cards since 1824
the eight. This is not a sensible play at the
holds the queen and East ♦K-9-x(-x), table. You might give yourself an extra
QUIZ master Julian Pottage gives his view
failure to cover gives declarer a second trump loser and later find out that you
of the best line of play in our June
trick when there was no legitimate way to competition and awards prizes in three have a club loser because the heart finesse
take one. Sometimes, West holds the nine categories. fails.
and can work it out, but nobody can get You should take the heart finesse before
this right all the time. broaching trumps; best is at trick three.
The same logic applies to examples (vii) ♠ A8 When the queen of hearts holds, you
and (viii). In both cases, declarer leads the ♥ AQ74 know you can afford two trump losers but
ten from hand. In example (vii) he is giving ♦ 754 not three. You ruff a diamond to hand and
♣ AK62 play a spade, intending to put in the eight
up on the legitimate chance of finding West
♠ K J 10 7 Void ♠ from dummy if West plays the seven.
with queen singleton or doubleton, that is If the heart finesse loses, you play
♥ K95 N ♥
J 10 8 3 2
all. If West always covers with the queen, W E
trumps for six tricks, cashing the ace and
♦ J962 S A 10 8 3 ♦
declarer will get only one trick with (vii) but leading towards the queen.
♣ Q8 J974 ♣
always three with (viii). If West fails to cover, ♠ Q965432
declarer gets two tricks with (vii) and when ♥ 6
holding (viii) he goes up with the king and Congratulations to the winners:
finesses on the way back. Again, I don’t care ♣ 10 5 3 County: Robert Balchin,
if you are the best defender in the world, London SE
you can’t get it right all the time. Regional: Brian O'Donnell,
You play in 4♠ after opening an un-
While the last pair of examples may be a contested auction. West leads the two of Great Somerford, Wilts
little less sound, if you lead the jack from diamonds. East wins with the ace and Open: Don Smedley,
dummy with both (ix) and (x), and East returns the three to your king. Aston on Trent, Derby
holds ♦Q-9-x, you will either pick up (ix) This looks like a simple hand. You could
for no loser when he guesses to cover, or play a spade to the ace and a spade back to
solve your guess with (x) when he fails to the queen. If you have two trump losers, This month’s new
cover. The general principle is sound: play try the heart finesse. Play Quiz is featured on page 37.
combinations that may look identical to
www.ebu.co.uk October 2008 English Bridge 41