Join Bridge Winners
Poor bidding helps you improve your card play
(Page of 5)

Playing the qualifying stage (Swiss Team) for the final of the French Club Team Championship you reached (auction best to be forgotten) the almost hopeless contract of 6.

The lead is the 9 and partner tables this lovely dummy :

North
A75
862
Q1053
A83
South
J84
AKQ109
AK2
Q7

You call low from dummy, East wins with the Q and shifts to a trump.

How should you proceed from here ?

Holding only ten top tricks, you need another two tricks for bringing home this (ugly) contract.

As your prospects are really bleak in the black suits, diamond will have to give you an eleventh trick (either a 3-3 break or a successful finesse). Then the count would be rectified and you will be able to apply some pressure on the opponents.

You win the heart return with the A (both opponents follow) and start tackling trumps. How many rounds do you play ?

North
A7
86
Q1053
A83
South
J8
KQ109
AK2
Q7

Assuming that will produce for tricks, the count will be rectified for a black suit squeeze against any opponent. Usually when executing a squeeze play your run all of your winners, including trumps. But here you lack communication between the two hands and the trump suit is your only entry back to hand. Hence for communication purpose, you can only draw two rounds of trump ; this way you will retain some flexibility.

On the 2nd round of trump both opponents follow. Leaving a ennemy trump outside, it's now time to turn your attention to the suit : you play the A and the K from hand, everyone following with low cards.

North
A7
8
Q10
A83
South
J8
Q109
2
Q7

Wich card do you play next ?

North
A7
8
Q10
A83
South
J8
Q109
2
Q7

As seen before, drawing the last trump cannot be right as even if the diamonds produce four tricks you will be stranded in dummy and forced to concede another trick in a black suit.

You must then continue with another diamond. The 2 is led toward dummy and West follows with the remaining low diamond.

Do you play for the suit to split or do you finesse the 10 ?

North
A7
8
Q10
A83
South
J8
Q109
2
Q7

You plan on this deal is to execute a squeeze to score your slam going trick against a defender who holds both the K and the spade length.

For your plan to function you not only need four diamonds tricks, but you also need to cash them before returning to hand with a trump. As an enemy trump is still lurking outside somewhere, a 3-3 diamond split is useless to you (opponents would simply ruff your 13th diamond).

Your only hope his to find West both with Jxxx and the remaining trump. In fact there is no other choice than to finesse (and hope for the best).

The 10 wins the tricks as East discards a spade, phew. While being in dummy you cash the Q ; East discarding another , so as you (a club discard would destroy your threat in the suit).

North
A7
8
A83
South
J
Q109
Q7

So far so good. How do you finish from here ?

North
A7
8
A83
South
J
Q109
Q7

After this successful handling of the diamond suit, you could draw the last trump and then run trumps, but discarding from dummy will be very painful. Good news, the squeeze would work this way. But bad news, dummy would be squeezed first.

The key play at this stage is to cash the A (Vienna coup). It isolates the threat in your hand and thanks to this unblock dummy will have two useless clubs to discard on the run on the trumps.

So you cash you A, you go back to hand drawing the last trump and cash your last two trumps (throwing the now useless clubs from the table). East is then caught in a black suit squeeze ; his hand : KQxxx xx xx Kxxx.

Just made !

In fact this was a very simple hand to play (!), as there is no other line of play worth considering.

 

NB : This hand really occurred and the declarer found the winning play over the table thus demonstrating that his cards skills were superior to his partnership's bidding.

 

EDITED : Taking the lead with dummy A and running red winners applies even more pressure to East as mentioned in the commentaries by Craig Biddle

18 Comments
Getting Comments... loading...
.

Bottom Home Top