Play Too Fast Series – 8



Dealer: S North
9 6 5 3
A 10 9 7
3 2
A 8 6
 

 
  South
A K 7 2
K 5 3
A J 7 4
10 7
 
Lead: K
Bidding:
 
WEST NORTH EAST SOUTH
1NT
2* Dbl* Pass 2
Pass 3 Pass Pass
Pass      

By Mike Lawrence

The bidding on this hand showed many of the modern treatments in action.  

West’s two club bid* showed a diamond suit OR a five card major and a five card minor.  East usually bids two diamonds to see which hand West has.  These two-way conventions are nasty things to play against and you’d better have some understandings about how to bid when you run into them.

Here, North’s double* was not for penalty, it was Stayman.  South showed his spades and North properly raised to three.  South has a minimum and elected to stop in three spades.  

West started with the king of diamonds.  East played the six and South played the seven, allowing the king to win.  If West led another diamond and gave East a ruff, it was likely that East would be ruffing with a trump trick.   

At trick two, West switched to the two of hearts.  What do you think this is and how should South play from this point?

I can’t think of any heart holding other than a singleton that would cause West to lead a heart.  East is pretty well marked with the missing five hearts.  In a way, this is bad news, but in a way it is good news.  If West is trying for a ruff, it is likely that he has two or three spades and means spades will divide favorably.  

South can see that trumps better divide else the contract is down.  
South can also see that making three spades will require ruffing a heart and a club in his hand or two diamonds in dummy.  

Assuming that trumps are three-two, there is a one hundred percent line.  If you don’t see it, take a moment to look for it.  



Dealer: S North
9 6 5 3
A 10 9 7
3 2
A 8 6
 
West
J 10
2
K Q 10 9 8 5
K 4 3 2

  East
Q 8 4
Q J 8 6 4
6
Q J 9 5
  South
A K 7 2
K 5 3
A J 7 4
10 7
 
Lead: K
Bidding:
 
WEST NORTH EAST SOUTH
1NT
2 Dbl Pass 2
Pass 3 Pass Pass
Pass      

Try this.

Win dummy’s ace of hearts.  Second hand high!

Play the top spades.  When they divide, you can go about ruffing diamonds in dummy.  Play the ace and ruff one in dummy.  If
East ruffs in at any time, that is OK because you will still be able to ruff your last diamond.

South’s play was necessary.  If he plays dummy’s ten of hearts, East will cover.  South can’t risk leading clubs or hearts now else West will get to ruff a heart or two.  South has to draw two trumps immediately.  Now he can ruff a diamond in dummy, East carefully refusing to use his queen of spades yet, but declarer can’t get back to his hand to ruff the last diamond.  East can’t be stopped from getting in and when he does, he will cash the queen of spades to stop diamond ruffs in dummy.  Odd as it looks, that second hand high play at trick two is the winner on this hand.

As a test, you might give this hand to your partner as a problem from the East point of view.  Show him the North and East hands and present him with this line.  West leads the diamond king and switches to a heart.  Declarer finesses the nine and East covers with the jack, declarer taking the ace.  After two rounds of spades, declarer leads the ace of diamonds.  See if your partner is willful enough to refuse ruffing the ace or overruffing when declarer next tries to ruff a diamond in dummy.  If your partner refuses to squander his queen of trumps, keep him.  He is defending very well.

 

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