Play Too Fast Series – Article One



Vul: N-S

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

By Mike Lawrence

When you play a hand, you need to plan not only the current trick, but the succeeding tricks as well. In this series, you will be shown a hand and how it was played. At the end, you will be asked to determine where the play went wrong and what should have been done about it.

South had terrible trumps, but he had a good fit for diamonds, an ace, and good shape. Certainly, North’s trumps were a comfort to South when he saw the dummy.

Here is how the play actually went.

West led the king of spades, taken by South. South decided that if he could ruff three clubs in his hand, he might make twelve tricks. He started this plan by leading a club to the ace at trick two and ruffing a club in his hand at trick three.

South saw the need to knock out the ace of diamonds so he started that suit by leading a diamond to dummy’s queen. East surprised South by producing the ace. Back came the nine of spades, which forced dummy to ruff with the jack of hearts.

From this point on, South could not make the hand.



Dealer: E
Vul: N-S
North
7
A K Q J
Q 10 8 5
A 8 6 4
 
West
K Q 10 3
3
7 6 4 2
K Q 7 2
  East
9 8 4 2
10 9 8 2
A
J 10 9 3
  South
A J 6 5
7 6 5 4
K J 9 3
5

 
 
WEST NORTH EAST SOUTH
Pass   1 Pass 1
Dbl 3 Pass 4
Pass  Pass Pass   
       

Here are the complete hands. South could not draw trump because they divided four-one. South could never take a diamond trick because East had the singleton ace. East, of course, was quick to return spades every time he got in. Each spade lead forced dummy to ruff with a trump honor and that set up a trick for East’s 10982 of hearts. A brutal hand.

South erred, as so often is the case, at trick one. South should let the king of spades win the first trick. The defenders won’t be able to make the dummy ruff spades now and South will be able to ruff clubs in his hand AND set up the diamonds. South will make four hearts and may make five if the defenders err along the way.

Should South give up the chance at twelve tricks? That is a different question which you have to judge for yourself. Keeping in mind that West made a takeout double, there is a fair chance that hearts will divide poorly. The important thing about this hand is that South see and consider the possibility of letting West win trick one.

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