As South, can you find the best play in these 4 contracts? Decide whether you will draw trumpsimmediately (assume a 3-1 break) and which side suit you will lead first.
After winning A, how do you play?(West has one trump)
The obvious danger is when East has the K (the finesse loses) and West has the A. You would then lose four tricks as soon as East gains the lead. Fortunately, you can prevent this from happening.
Win the A, draw trumps ending in your hand, and lead a diamond. West is marked for the queen, so assume he wins it. If he returns a spade, win the ace; pitch your last spade on the J and lead the 10 for a ruffing finesse (pitch a club if East plays low). If it loses to West, you are safe with any return.
West held: 4-3-2 8 K-Q-10-9-8-7 A-J-7
Chances are grim. You have nine easy tricks but no obvious way to make another. Barring a miracle in spades (e.g., Q-J doubleton) the only realistic hope is an elimination play hoping to force an opponent to give you a ruff and discard.
Draw trumps ending in dummy, and lead a diamond. Assume a club is returned (nothing matters); win the ace and lose another diamond; next win the K and ruff the last diamond. Finally, cash the K-A and exit with a spade. Guess what? Its your lucky day!
West held: Q-J-8-5 J-10-9 K-8-7-2 J-6
Yes, 4 is a gross overbid, butyou need the challenge!
Once again, prospects are bleak. If you lead spades, you will almost surely have to lose a spade; then youll be set immediately. The best chance is to develop a squeeze.
Pitch a spade from dummy as you win the K and lead a diamond. Your plan is to ruff one diamond, ruff your last club, and lead all your trumps to reach this ending: A-7 8 opposite K-9-8. If only one person can protect spades and diamonds, you will win the rest.
Bridge is an easy game. Just lead diamonds on every hand (hehe).
West held: J-4 J-9-8 A-J-7 A-J-10-9-8
© 2004 Richard Pavlicek