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January 8, 2000
Looking Ahead and Test Your Third Hand Play
After a brief auction you win up in 4. The opening lead is the K. You have two sure club losers. How do you play trumps in order to avoid two trump losers?
The "normal" method of attacking this suit is to lead low to the
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:
|1||Qx||Ax||Lead low to K, then play another.|
|2||Ax||Qx||Lead low to the J, then cash the K.|
|3||Q||A72||Lead low to the K, then play another.|
|4||72||AQ||Lead low and cover if the Q is played.|
All other possibilities always lead to two heart losers and down one. Try it, you
wont 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
K slight favorite.
Now the second part of looking ahead.
Playing the K is the ONLY choice!
What happens if the hearts behave as shown in #2?
You play low to the J and LHO wins the 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 KQ you will lose two clubs and two trumps (one to the A and one on an overtrump).
The answer is to play a low heart to the K! It is your only real hope.
You made it, didnt 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.
Partner leads the 6 and dummy plays the 4. Which spade do you play and why? You are East.
Partner leads the 9 and dummy plays the 2. Which club do you play and why? You are East.
Partner leads the 3 and dummy plays the 5. Which diamond do you play and why? You are East.
Partners lead should be fourth best so the Rule of Eleven should work. There are
five spades higher than the
6 in the other three hands. You can see all five of them! Play the
5 and let
partners 6 win the trick. After you cash four spade tricks you can start work on
promotion in diamonds.
is either a singleton or the top of a doubleton. The
9 is high enough to force the
A. With three
or more partner should lead low. You should overtake with the
10 just in case
partner has no more clubs. 3NT goes down one if you overtake the
9 with the
10 and continue
Partners lead should be either a singleton or from three to the
J. If it
is the latter then the
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
Q. Play the
K and lead another.