Join Bridge Winners
Placing the cards
(Page of 4)

At the local duplicate you pick up the following fairly drab collection

North
AQ972
J74
62
A86
W
N
E
S
P
P
P
?
 

 

You could pass for +0 however you DO hold the master suit and 'faint heart never won fair lady' - so you decide to open 1 Spade  - the hand does qualify under the rule of 15 (points + spades) and even has a point to spare.

Partner raises to 2 Spades and when East leads the King of hearts and gets an encouraging signal from partner, it is clear that partner knows your reputation for solid bids in 4th seat.

 

North
AQ972
J74
62
A86
South
K53
1062
K93
KJ93
W
N
E
S
P
P
1
P
2
P
P
P

The defence takes three rounds of hearts (East had the Queen and West the Ace) and West exits with the 6 of spades.

Seeing no other obvious line of play, you take two rounds ending in your hand - but West shows out.

You've lost three hearts, have to lose a spade and the Ace of Diamonds is still out. Whether your decision to open in fourth position was bold or foolhardy now depends on you making the contract. Now what???

Well the first thing to note is that unless East has the Ace of Diamonds, you are very likely to lose two tricks in the suit. The chances of clubs being 3-3 with the Queen onside are pretty remote - especially as it only seems to happens when your opponents are playing the cards.

So the first thing to do is to place East with the Ace of diamonds - if he hasn't got it then the explanation your partner will get at the end of the hand will almost certainly include the word 'sorry'.

This means that East has shown up with the KQ, the J and (by inference) the A - that makes 10 points.

If East holds the Queen of clubs then that gives him 12 points - and would almost certainly have opened 1NT (12-14). So West must have it.

The club finesse has just fallen from a 50% chance to a 0% chance.

The only hope, therefore, is that East has the ten of clubs. If West has it (as well as the Queen) then you must lose a club trick.

So, instead of finessing the Queen of clubs, you lead a diamond to the King (whether East wins with the Ace on the first round is immaterial) and you lead the Jack of Clubs, intending to run it if West plays low.

West covers and you win with the Ace. When you lead from your hand, East plays the ten, saving you a few seconds of anxiety.

West
6
A953
QJ87
Q542
North
AQ972
J74
62
A86
East
J1084
KQ8
A1054
107
South
K53
1062
K93
KJ93
W
N
E
S
P
P
P
1
P
2
P
P
P
D
2 North
NS: 0 EW: 0

Players starting out in the game, concentrate too much on the 13 cards they hold and the thirteen cards in dummy. There are two other hands, however and since the total high card points in each hand comes to 40, that players will open the bidding with 12+, support with 6+, paying attention to what players do and don't do, and whatever assets come to light when you observe the cards they play, can enable you to improve the odds in your favour.

The ability to place the cards, either from observation or necessity, is a key development in the skills of the bridge player. It won't be possible on many hands, but on those hands where you can (and do) put yourself in your opponent's shoes it will give you a significant advantage over those who don't.

28 Comments
Getting Comments... loading...
.

Bottom Home Top