Each contract below has several finessing opportunities, but only one is correct on each hand.Are you up to the task? (Assume you are playing IMPs)
You have 8 top tricks, and the club suit offers great potential for more. But there is a danger ahead: If the club finesse loses, you can be sure a diamond will be returned; then if the A-Q are wrong (or you misguess), you are history.
Instead you should look for a safer line of play. Win the J in dummy, lead heart and finesse the 10. If this wins, great. If it loses, your K-J will be protected and the long heart in dummy will be good, barring the rare case of a singleton J (or J-x-x-x-x) in West.
After winning the A, what next?
You have 6 top tricks, and no less than three opportunities for 3 more. Thats the good news. The bad news is that you have only one club stopper; if you take just one losing finesse, the opponents will set you.
You should try to combine your chances. First cash the A-K to see if the queen drops. No luck? Then cash the A-K to try to drop that queen. Still nothing? As a last resort you will fall back on the heart finesse by leading the 9 and letting it ride. Three chances are better than one!
You win the A of course. What next?(Sorry, the K is not singleton)
A successful diamond finesse would see you home, but there are other things to consider. Note that a successful spade finesse would let you discard all your hearts. Or maybe a club finesse? If only you knew which finesse will work.
Ah, but you dont know. The best way to combine your chances is to first cash the A. There is a decent chance the king will drop. If not, take your second chance by leading a spade and finessing the jack. (You may want to close your eyes for that spade finesse.)
© 1995 Richard Pavlicek