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Following Card Combinations to the Limit

You won't find this one in The Official Encyclopedia of Bridge, at least not until the next edition. Yesterday, I played swiss teams against a pair of NABC champions. In particular, LHO is an occasional partner and very fine player.

 

West
AK87
J54
7654
72
North
92
2
KJ3
AQJ9854
East
Q
AK109873
A1098
10
South
J106543
Q6
Q2
K63
W
N
E
S
1
1
1
2
P
4
4
X
P
P
P
D
1
4X South
NS: 0 EW: 0
4
2
K
6
2
0
1
Q
3
8
2
2
0
2
A
2
7
3
2
0
3
10
Q
4
K
1
1
3
J
9
Q
5
1
2
3
9
9
4
K
0
2
4
6

 

LHO needed to lead a club to give me a chance to go wrong. From C72, he led the seven. I won CK, knocked out his high trump, won the club continuation in hand with the six, drew trumps, and claimed down two.

If he had led the two instead of the seven, I would have had to win in dummy and then play to my CK in hand. That Dentist's Coup would extract his last club and allow me to take eight tricks. This is not obvious, however. He might have tried to tap me instead of leading his singleton club. He might have started with four hearts. He might have given false count (or upside down vs. standard present count) in diamonds.

If he led C2 and I played him for a singleton, winning in hand, he could lock me in dummy with his seven and promote a trump trick for down three.

 

So the next time you quiz someone on a card combination, see if they know how to play 72.

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