40 English Bridge October 2019 www.ebu.co.uk
Hand 2 ´ J 7
™ 7 6 2
t A Q J 7 5 3
® 8 4
´ K 6 4 2 ´ Q 9 5 3
™ A 10 8 5 3 ™ Q 9
t 6 t K 8 2
® Q 9 5 ® J 10 6 2
´ A 10 8
™ K J 4
t 10 9 4
® A K 7 3
Hand 1 ´ A 8 3
™ J 9 7 6 4
t K 3
® A J 6
´ K Q 9 ´ 10 7 6 4 2
™ 5 3 ™ A
t Q 9 6 4 t 10 8 7
® Q 8 7 2 ® 10 9 5 3
´ J 5
™ K Q 10 8 2
t A J 5 2
® K 4
Given that you are missing the ™A, you have to win
the first trick, and then have to decide when to draw
trumps. If you lead a trump at trick two, East can
win the ™A, and return a spade to West's ´Q. This
would give you no chance of succeeding but is also
an outcome that could be predicted. Is there any
way to prevent this?
Declarer can only avoid losing a spade trick by
getting rid of the ´J without losing the lead. This
can be achieved by using the ®J to provide a third
club winner before playing a heart.
You should therefore lead the ®6 to the ®K at
trick two, then lead the ®4 to the ®J at trick three.
When the club finesse succeeds, dummy's ®A is
played, allowing you to discard the ´J. It is now safe
to draw trumps. East can win the ™A and try
returning a spade, but you ruff and draw the last
trump. You can now cross-ruff the remaining
diamonds and spades to make your slam.
If West has the tK then there will be no problem,
but if East has the tK, then you will need to be
careful not to lose four heart tricks in addition to
When East plays the ™Q, it looks natural to win
the first trick with the ™K, but if you now lead the
t10, and East wins the tK, he will be able to defeat
your contract by returning a heart. However, this
can be prevented. Given that the diamond finesse
will only fail if East has the tK, you should aim to
ensure that East cannot return a heart upon
winning the tK. East will have at most two hearts,
and your ™KJ represent a certain stopper once East
has played the ™Q, so try the effect of ducking
(playing low) at trick one.
East can return the ™9 which West wins and
returns a heart which you win. Now, when South
leads the t10, East can win the tK but will no
longer have a heart to return. Whichever black suit
East leads, you can regain the lead, and play your
remaining winners to make your game.
Heffalump Traps by David Bakhshi
3NT. West makes a 1™ overcall and leads the ™5.
East plays the ™Q.
You are playing in an aggressive 3NT contract, so
making your game could lead to a swing.
You have four top tricks, but you can win four or
five extra tricks from diamonds depending which
opponent has the tK (assuming that East does not
hold the tKxxx).
6™. West leads the ´K.
You have reached a thin 6™ contract that may well
be missed in the other room, so this board has huge
swing potential for your team.
You have five top tricks, but can make plenty of
tricks using your trumps, and also have the
possibility of finessing to promote the tJ or the ®J.