Page 0008

8 English Bridge February 2020 www.ebu.co.uk

South plays in

3NT. West leads

the t5.

´ A 5 2

™ Q 6 3

t 6 2

® A J 7 4 2

´ Q J 3

™ A K 2

t A J 8

® Q 10 9 5

N

W E

S

South plays 3NT. West leads the ´6

´ 5 3

™ Q J 5

t A K Q J

® 8 6 5 2

´ K 10 7 6 2 ´ Q 9 4

™ K 6 4 ™ 8 7 3

t 8 5 3 t 9 6 2

® Q J ® K 10 7 3

´ A J 8

™ A 10 9 2

t 10 7 4

® A 9 4

N

W E

S

L

et's welcome in an old friend as we immerse

ourselves in winter - that of holding off an

early trick. A reminder that one of the key

issues in the idea of a hold-up play is which of the

defenders is the danger hand and which of them is

the safe hand.

It isn't always the hand with the long suit who is

the danger hand, mind, as the following deal

illustrates:

The Hold-Up Revisited

Basic Cardplay

click

link

spade, three hearts, four diamonds and one club for

his contract.

Try this one. Place yourself as South, declarer, in

3NT against which West leads the t5.

West leads his trusty fourth highest spade to

East's ´Q and South has to decide whether to take

the ´A or to hold off. Well?

South's trusty Count and Plan shows him that he

has seven on top (one spade, one heart, four

diamonds and one club). It is obvious that hearts

can be played for extras via the finesse; what should

happen if the finesse should lose?

Possession of the ´J renders the spade suit

immune to attack from the Western quarter - and

that is where the heart finesse is aiming, should it

lose. So here, South is quite in order to grab the ´A,

cross to a diamond and run the ™Q. What could go

wrong? Absolutely nothing. West cannot lead

spades again without conceding a cheap trick, so his

best defence is to switch to clubs. South now has one

East produces the tQ at trick one - do you win

or do you hold up? Why?

Your essential Count and Plan reveals that you

have six top tricks (one spade, three hearts, one

diamond and one club). You have to set up clubs for

the extras and you have to finesse into East. Taking

the tA and later receiving a diamond lead through

the remaining tJ8 would be most unwelcome.

You can ensure your contract against just about

any adverse distribution by ducking the tQ, as the

full deal shows:

Paul

Count & Plan

Index

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