Play Too Fast Series – 5



Dealer: N North
A Q
K 6
K J 10 9 3
A 10 7 3
 

 
  South
K 7 2
8 7 4
A Q
Q J 9 6 4
 
Lead: J
Bidding:
 
WEST NORTH EAST SOUTH
1 Pass 2
Pass 4 Pass 4
Pass 4 Pass 5
All Pass      

Where Am I?

By Mike Lawrence

Where Am I?

When you play a hand, you must always lead from the right hand, hence the title of this article, “Where am I?”

 
On the hand at left, West leads the Jack of spades.

How do you play?

Here is how one South played the hand.  He won with the ace of spades and came to his hand with the ace of diamonds.  He took the club finesse, won by East with the king.  West, most annoyingly, ruffed the diamond return, and the ensuing heart lead gave East two heart tricks.

How should South have played?  Should he have plunked down the ace and another club?  That would fail if West had the king and East had the ace of hearts.  Is there a safer line yet?



Dealer: E
Vul: N-S
North
A Q
K 6
K J 10 9 3
A 10 7 3
 
West
J 10 9 3
Q 10 9 5 3 2
4
8 5
  East
8 6 5 4
A J
8 7 6 5 2
K 2
  South
K 7 2
8 7 4
A Q
Q J 9 6 4
 
Lead: J
Bidding:
 
WEST NORTH EAST SOUTH
1 Pass 2
Pass 4 Pass 4
Pass 4 Pass 5
All Pass      

There is.  In the first line, declarer came to his hand with the ace of diamonds and took the club finesse at trick three.  Better is for South to finesse in clubs at trick two.

The way to do that?  

Overtake dummy’s queen of spades with the king.  You only get two spade tricks by playing this way, but you get to draw trumps more safely.  In any event, the lost spade trick can be retrieved by using the diamonds later.  What difference does it make how may spade tricks you get if you only need two?

If you take the king of spades at trick one and finesse in clubs, East will win, but he can’t get West in for a heart lead.  In fact, if East doesn’t take his ace of hearts, you will discard all three of your little hearts on the diamonds and will ruff your little spade later in the play.  Such a difference.  False economy costs you two tricks.  It is sad since saving the third spade trick could not gain you a trick.  It was an illusion only.

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