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July 29, 2000
Do You Have the Vision?

Do You Have the Vision?

Good declarer play requires vision. The ability to look ahead and identify the problem before it occurs. If you develop this skill then your success rate will most definitely improve. Here are three hands that require some vision. The answers can be found below.

#1

North
spade.gif (842 bytes)KJ97
heart.gif (841 bytes)865
diamond.gif (837 bytes)QJ107
club.gif (841 bytes)K7
South (you)
spade.gif (842 bytes)A10865
heart.gif (841 bytes)Q4
diamond.gif (837 bytes)AK98
club.gif (841 bytes)84
West North East South
Pass Pass Pass 1spade.gif (842 bytes)
Pass 3spade.gif (842 bytes) Pass 4spade.gif (842 bytes)
Pass Pass Pass

West leads the heart.gif (841 bytes)A, cashes the heart.gif (841 bytes)K, and then leads a third heart on which East plays the heart.gif (841 bytes)J and you trump. Spades are not breaking 4-0. Plan the play.

#2

North
spade.gif (842 bytes)AK5
heart.gif (841 bytes)5432
diamond.gif (837 bytes)76543
club.gif (841 bytes)K
South (you)
spade.gif (842 bytes)743
heart.gif (841 bytes)A76
diamond.gif (837 bytes)AK2
club.gif (841 bytes)AJ65
West North East South
Pass Pass 1NT
Pass 2club.gif (841 bytes)* Pass 2diamond.gif (837 bytes)
Pass 3NT Pass Pass
Pass

*-Stayman - Artificial, asking if opener holds a four card major suit.

West leads the heart.gif (841 bytes)K which you allow to hold. West continues with the heart.gif (841 bytes)Q. East follows to both rounds of hearts. Plan the play.

#3

North
spade.gif (842 bytes)5432
heart.gif (841 bytes)654
diamond.gif (837 bytes)A65
club.gif (841 bytes)765
South (you)
spade.gif (842 bytes)AKQJ10
heart.gif (841 bytes)AQ
diamond.gif (837 bytes)KQJ
club.gif (841 bytes)AQJ

Playing all strong two bids:

West North East South
Pass 2spade.gif (842 bytes)
Pass 3spade.gif (842 bytes) Pass 4NT
Pass 5diamond.gif (837 bytes) Pass 5NT
Pass 6club.gif (841 bytes) Pass 6spade.gif (842 bytes)
Pass Pass Pass

Playing weak two bids (strong 2club.gif (841 bytes)):

West North East South
Pass 2club.gif (841 bytes)
Pass 2diamond.gif (837 bytes) Pass 2spade.gif (842 bytes)
Pass 3spade.gif (842 bytes) Pass 4NT
Pass 5diamond.gif (837 bytes) Pass 5NT
Pass 6club.gif (841 bytes) Pass 6spade.gif (842 bytes)
Pass Pass Pass

West leads a trump. Plan the play.

Answers:

#1
You cannot make the hand unless the club.gif (841 bytes)A is onside (with West). West has already shown up with the top two hearts. If she held the club.gif (841 bytes)A and the spade.gif (842 bytes)Q as well she would have opened the bidding. To make the hand, East must hold the spade.gif (842 bytes)Q. Lead a trump to the spade.gif (842 bytes)K and then finesse East for the spade.gif (842 bytes)Q. If West holds it you are going down anyway.

#2
The heart suit is dividing no worse than 4-2 so you can win the second heart (or wait to win the third round if you like). The defenders have a total of three heart tricks coming. You have seven top tricks and the two additional tricks will have to come from the diamond suit. A 3-2 break in diamonds is all that is necessary. If your analysis got you that far you did good, but you still go down from here if you are not careful. If you win the heart.gif (841 bytes)A and cash the diamond.gif (837 bytes)A, diamond.gif (837 bytes)K, and play a third diamond you will forever be blocked out of your club.gif (841 bytes)A! The defenders will have any easy time keeping you in the dummy and away from your ninth trick. To keep your tricks untangled, win the heart.gif (841 bytes)A and lead a low diamond.

#3
Twenty nine high card points, what a hand! Of course the problem is that you have only one entry to dummy. First pull trump, but then which finesse do you take? The heart finesse is clearly the correct choice. The chance of either king in the East hand is the same (50%). The difference is that if the heart finesse works you no longer have a heart loser (you will lose only one club trick). If the club finesse works you very likley still have a club loser (you will still lose a club and a heart!).

Thanks!
Gary King

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