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Appearances can be deceptive (Le Bridgeur Magazine n°891 – February 2015)

jerome750_en

Article written by Jérôme Rombaut and published in the French magazine Le Bridgeur n° 891 on 15 February 2015.

A plan of play worthy of its name requires healthy management of communications (entry to dummy/hand entry) and a sharp sense of timing. Be up to it!

More and more players fix their choice on Funbridge, including some renowned ones such as Vanessa Reess, Xavier Dupuis, Colin Deheeger, Thibault Coudert, Pierre Franceschetti, Frédéric Volcker, Thibaut Charletoux, Mathilde Thuillez, Donatella Halfon, etc.

When we use it, apart from the fact that we enjoy reaching the famous Elite series (the top 100 players out of 40,000) and securing our place there, we like challenging each other on 5 deals. I must say that it is exciting because on a small number of deals, everything is possible and it is often difficult to make up for the slightest mistake. Here is a deal which seems simpler than it actually is.

Your hand in South: ♠ J 8 3 ♥ A 8 6 4 3 ♦ 7 5 ♣ K 10 3.

The bidding sequence:

SOUTHNORTH
1D
1H2NT
3C3H
4H

 
You receive the lead of the ♣5. How are you going to play?

S Q 7 2
H K 7 5
D A Q J 10 9
C A Q

NSEO_en

S J 8 3
H A 8 6 4 3
D 7 5
C K 10 3

 
Since you have two spades and at least one trump to lose, one thing is certain: the diamond king must be well placed. This is the sine qua non condition for you to win.

In order to preserve as many communications as possible to dummy, take care to follow with dummy’s queen and to take it with the king! Then finesse diamonds first. Now continue with heart king and ace. If everybody follows suit, it is only a matter of overtricks. Finesse diamonds again, then play the diamond ace by discarding a spade. Given the hands, if you want to take 11 tricks, carry on with club ace, ruffed diamond, ruffed club and established diamond to discard a second spade.

Are you starting to see the point in keeping dummy’s ace at trick no.1? If the trumps split 4-1, you will win your contract anyway in most cases. For instance, if East holds a 4-4-3-2 hand, preserving the club ace will enable you to get the fifth diamond and thus take your tenth trick. But if you play club ace, heart king and ace, diamond to the queen, club to the king, diamond to the king, diamond ace and diamonds, East will ruff the fourth round, cash his master trump and you will still have to give two black tricks away.

Here are the four hands:

S Q 7 2
H K 7 5
D A Q J 10 9
C A Q
S A 10
H Q 10 9
D K 6 4 2
C J 9 5 4
NSEO_enS  K 9 6 5 4
H J 2
D 8 3
C 8 7 6 2
S J 8 3
H A 8 6 4 3
D 7 5
C K 10 3

 

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