10 March 2011

Two roads diverged in a contract

The other night I played in what on the surface was a boring 3NT contract. It was at a home game as we've no bridge club but pulling together 4 teams to play a round robin of 10 board matches was a good effort. This hand came up in the first match and generated lots of discussion. How would you play it?

J x x
T x x
A K Q x x x
K Q x x
K x x
A Q J x
x x
Your auction was a rather messy 1 - 2 - 3N. It's not good but you have to live with it! The 2 lead is a "reverse attitude" lead. A low card means hearts is actually Wests suit rather than a prospecting 2 or 3 card holding. Playing small from the table East wins the Ace and returns the Jack; it seems right to duck as West may be caught napping. Not this time though, West overtakes and clears the suit.

If the clubs don't break the contract becomes a single track so lets presume we have 6 club tricks. Add to that a diamond and the heart we just banked takes us to within 1 trick of our contract. You can either take the diamond finesse or play a spade for your ninth. Which would you rather? Against good defenders can you expect to read anything into the pitches on clubs?

1 comment:

  1. There's a 100 percent chance the oppo will go up with the Ace of spades, and if its West you're doomed, and if it's East you might also be doomed if he has a 4th heart. The diamond finesse is purely a 50-50 % chance, and so I'm going with the favourable odds.