Saturday's bridge...

THERE are many ways of attacking defensive communications. Can you find one here?

A simple auction to a normal game. North leads the six of clubs, fourth highest, and South produces the king. How do you plan the play? There are five sure tricks in aces and kings. The obvious work suit is diamonds, where a 3-2 break and successful finesse will produce the four extra tricks you need. If the finesse loses, or the suit breaks badly, you have back-up chances in the majors. With your general plan made, you must decide whether to hold up on the opening lead. This would be the right thing to do if North had five clubs and you expected to lose the lead to South, but not here where you plan a finesse into the North hand, so your Jx will provide a second stopper. So you win the ace of clubs, cross to a top heart and lead the ten of diamonds. South covers with the king and you win the ace, but when you cash the queen North discards the eight of spades. This is good in that the high spade is a discouraging signal suggesting South has the king; and bad because if you clear diamonds South will gain the lead to push through a club. What now?

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

You have seven winners, and two major suit finesses might bring the two extra tricks you need. Before committing yourself you may as well cash one more diamond. This time North discards a heart. Would he throw a heart if he held the queen? If South is guarding three suits you can catch him in a suicide squeeze by exiting with the jack of clubs. If North cashes clubs he puts partner under intolerable pressure; if he does not you win the heart switch, cross to the queen of spades and exit with a diamond. With no club to lead, all South can do is cash one heart, then surrender.