Bridge - The Scotsman 07/07/12
Some problems may appear rather contrived in their attempt to illustrate an unorthodox play.
The bidding is obviously contrived. East has enough points to open 2NT, but the hand is perhaps too major-oriented. West decided not to introduce his weak spades in case partner found that an exciting development; he hoped partner might remove 1NT to 2 of a minor. East was now convinced that the minors were stopped, and raised to game. North led the five of diamonds, taken with South’s ace. South returned the eight of diamonds covered with the jack and queen. Now North switched to the jack of clubs. How would you play?
There are seven sure tricks, and lots of options. If spades break 3-3 you have an extra trick provided you can get at it: cashing the three top spades would remove most of dummy’s entries, and to enjoy the long spade you must preserve the ace of clubs, or you might be cut off from dummy’s hearts. You can make three club tricks on this switch provided you guess who has the queen: if North has made a cunning falsecard from QJx you can win the ace, then run the ten; if South has the queen you can win the king and run the nine. Hearts look a sounder bet.
You could simply play them
from the top, to guarantee one extra trick, and produce the two you need
if the suit breaks 4-3 or the queen
drops doubleton. Can you see how
to guarantee your contract against
Diamonds are known to be 4-2, and you can establish two extra diamond tricks for sure. But if you win the ace of clubs to play diamonds how can you get back to hand to cash them? The club pips provide a way. Play the king of clubs from dummy and overtake with the ace(!), leaving 9x in dummy and 108 in hand. Drive out the king of diamonds. Win any return in dummy and play the nine of clubs, overtaking with the ten.
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