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January 8, 2000
Looking Ahead and Test Your Third Hand Play

Looking Ahead

After a brief auction you win up in 4heart.gif (841 bytes). The opening lead is the club.gif (841 bytes)K. You have two sure club losers. How do you play trumps in order to avoid two trump losers?

North
spade.gif (842 bytes)Q43
heart.gif (841 bytes)5432
diamond.gif (837 bytes)1076
club.gif (841 bytes)A86
South
spade.gif (842 bytes)AK
heart.gif (841 bytes)KJ1098
diamond.gif (837 bytes)AK
club.gif (841 bytes)7532


Answer:

North
spade.gif (842 bytes)Q43
heart.gif (841 bytes)5432
diamond.gif (837 bytes)1076
West club.gif (841 bytes)A86 East
spade.gif (842 bytes)J872 spade.gif (842 bytes)10965
heart.gif (841 bytes)Q7 heart.gif (841 bytes)A6
diamond.gif (837 bytes)Q5 diamond.gif (837 bytes)J98432
club.gif (841 bytes)KQJ104 South club.gif (841 bytes)9
spade.gif (842 bytes)AK
heart.gif (841 bytes)KJ1098
diamond.gif (837 bytes)AK
club.gif (841 bytes)7532

The "normal" method of attacking this suit is to lead low to the heart.gif (841 bytes)J. That method assumes that you can repeat the finesse. On this hand the opening lead has removed your only dummy entry. No repeat finesse is possible. Ask yourself, "What division of the hearts will allow me to come home with only one heart loser?"

The four possibilities:

LHO RHO
1 heart.gif (841 bytes)Qx heart.gif (841 bytes)Ax Lead low to heart.gif (841 bytes)K, then play another.
2 heart.gif (841 bytes)Ax heart.gif (841 bytes)Qx Lead low to the heart.gif (841 bytes)J, then cash the heart.gif (841 bytes)K.
3 heart.gif (841 bytes)Q heart.gif (841 bytes)A72 Lead low to the heart.gif (841 bytes)K, then play another.
4 heart.gif (841 bytes)72 heart.gif (841 bytes)AQ Lead low and cover if the heart.gif (841 bytes)Q is played.

All other possibilities always lead to two heart losers and down one. Try it, you won’t find any others. Do not worry about those situations that you cannot control. You must assume that the hearts divide in such a way that you can do something about it. It appears to be a guess, with playing the heart.gif (841 bytes)K slight favorite.

Now the second part of looking ahead.

Playing the heart.gif (841 bytes)K is the ONLY choice!

What happens if the hearts behave as shown in #2?

You play low to the heart.gif (841 bytes)J and LHO wins the heart.gif (841 bytes)A. Now what?

LHO cashes two more clubs and leads a fourth round and RHO can always overtrump the dummy! Unless clubs divide 3-3 or 2-4 with LHO having club.gif (841 bytes)KQ you will lose two clubs and two trumps (one to the heart.gif (841 bytes)A and one on an overtrump).

The answer is to play a low heart to the heart.gif (841 bytes)K! It is your only real hope.

You made it, didn’t you?

-----------------------------------------------------

Test Your Third Hand Play

This article is an excerpt from an article that first appeared in Issue #18 (May/Jun 1997) of The Bridge Companion.

#1

Partner leads the spade.gif (842 bytes)6 and dummy plays the spade.gif (842 bytes)4. Which spade do you play and why? You are East.

West North East South
1heart.gif (841 bytes) Pass 1NT
Pass Pass Pass

 

North
spade.gif (842 bytes)K94
heart.gif (841 bytes)AQ865
diamond.gif (837 bytes)74
West club.gif (841 bytes)QJ2 East (you)
spade.gif (842 bytes)??? spade.gif (842 bytes)AJ85
heart.gif (841 bytes)??? heart.gif (841 bytes)K1093
diamond.gif (837 bytes)??? diamond.gif (837 bytes)QJ106
club.gif (841 bytes)??? South club.gif (841 bytes)7
spade.gif (842 bytes)???
heart.gif (841 bytes)???
diamond.gif (837 bytes)???
club.gif (841 bytes)???

#2

Partner leads the club.gif (841 bytes)9 and dummy plays the club.gif (841 bytes)2. Which club do you play and why? You are East.

West North East South
1diamond.gif (837 bytes) 2club.gif (841 bytes) 3NT
Pass Pass Pass

 

North
spade.gif (842 bytes)K94
heart.gif (841 bytes)AQ8
diamond.gif (837 bytes)KJ74
West club.gif (841 bytes)J32 East (you)
spade.gif (842 bytes)??? spade.gif (842 bytes)Q5
heart.gif (841 bytes)??? heart.gif (841 bytes)1065
diamond.gif (837 bytes)??? diamond.gif (837 bytes)A65
club.gif (841 bytes)??? South club.gif (841 bytes)KQ1087
spade.gif (842 bytes)???
heart.gif (841 bytes)???
diamond.gif (837 bytes)???
club.gif (841 bytes)???

#3

Partner leads the diamond.gif (837 bytes)3 and dummy plays the diamond.gif (837 bytes)5. Which diamond do you play and why? You are East.

West North East South
1diamond.gif (837 bytes) Pass 1spade.gif (842 bytes)
Pass 3spade.gif (842 bytes) Pass Pass
Pass

 

North
spade.gif (842 bytes)AQ104
heart.gif (841 bytes)6
diamond.gif (837 bytes)AQ865
West club.gif (841 bytes)K87 East (you)
spade.gif (842 bytes)??? spade.gif (842 bytes)98
heart.gif (841 bytes)??? heart.gif (841 bytes)K973
diamond.gif (837 bytes)??? diamond.gif (837 bytes)K10742
club.gif (841 bytes)??? South club.gif (841 bytes)QJ
spade.gif (842 bytes)???
heart.gif (841 bytes)???
diamond.gif (837 bytes)???
club.gif (841 bytes)???

Answers:

#1

North
spade.gif (842 bytes)K94
heart.gif (841 bytes)AQ865
diamond.gif (837 bytes)74
West club.gif (841 bytes)QJ2 East (you)
spade.gif (842 bytes)Q1076 spade.gif (842 bytes)AJ85
heart.gif (841 bytes)742 heart.gif (841 bytes)K1093
diamond.gif (837 bytes)932 diamond.gif (837 bytes)QJ106
club.gif (841 bytes)AK9 South club.gif (841 bytes)7
spade.gif (842 bytes)32
heart.gif (841 bytes)J
diamond.gif (837 bytes)AK85
club.gif (841 bytes)1086543

Partner’s lead should be fourth best so the Rule of Eleven should work. There are five spades higher than the spade.gif (842 bytes)6 in the other three hands. You can see all five of them! Play the spade.gif (842 bytes)5 and let partner’s spade.gif (842 bytes)6 win the trick. After you cash four spade tricks you can start work on promotion in diamonds.

#2

North
spade.gif (842 bytes)K94
heart.gif (841 bytes)AQ8
diamond.gif (837 bytes)KJ74
West club.gif (841 bytes)J32 East (you)
spade.gif (842 bytes)108632 spade.gif (842 bytes)Q5
heart.gif (841 bytes)9432 heart.gif (841 bytes)1065
diamond.gif (837 bytes)Q83 diamond.gif (837 bytes)A65
club.gif (841 bytes)9 South club.gif (841 bytes)KQ1087
spade.gif (842 bytes)AJ7
heart.gif (841 bytes)KJ7
diamond.gif (837 bytes)1092
club.gif (841 bytes)A654

The club.gif (841 bytes)9 is either a singleton or the top of a doubleton. The club.gif (841 bytes)9 is high enough to force the club.gif (841 bytes)A. With three or more partner should lead low. You should overtake with the club.gif (841 bytes)10 just in case partner has no more clubs. 3NT goes down one if you overtake the club.gif (841 bytes)9 with the club.gif (841 bytes)10 and continue clubs.

#3

North
spade.gif (842 bytes)AQ104
heart.gif (841 bytes)6
diamond.gif (837 bytes)AQ865
West club.gif (841 bytes)K87 East (you)
spade.gif (842 bytes)K75 spade.gif (842 bytes)98
heart.gif (841 bytes)Q8542 heart.gif (841 bytes)K973
diamond.gif (837 bytes)3 diamond.gif (837 bytes)K10742
club.gif (841 bytes)A1095 South club.gif (841 bytes)QJ
spade.gif (842 bytes)J632
heart.gif (841 bytes)AJ10
diamond.gif (837 bytes)J9
club.gif (841 bytes)6432

Partner’s lead should be either a singleton or from three to the diamond.gif (837 bytes)J. If it is the latter then the diamond.gif (837 bytes)10 or diamond.gif (837 bytes)7 is right. Partner must have a singleton. With a void you would expect declarer to have accepted the game invitation. Also declarer would also try the free finesse with the diamond.gif (837 bytes)Q. Play the diamond.gif (837 bytes)K and lead another.

Thanks!
Gary King

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