Assumptions (Le Bridgeur Magazine No. 919)

2017 World Vice-Champion Jérôme Rombaut writes a column in the French magazine “Le Bridgeur” every two months.

In the article below, published in issue 919 of the magazine (January /February 2019), Jérôme gives us a new commented bridge board from the 2018 World Bridge Series held in Orlando.

Commented bridge board by Jérôme Rombaut
Commented bridge board by Jérôme Rombaut

In early 2019 Funbridge made an exciting announcement: the merger with BBO. The apps will remain separate brands but they will share their knowledge to offer even more relevant features.

This month I have chosen a commented bridge board from the 2018 World Bridge Series held in Orlando, USA. I had the pleasure to have the young and promising junior player Baptiste Combescure as opponent.

South leads the 10 of Hearts. How do you play the 4♠ contract in East?

S K Q 6 5
H A J 8 
D K 5
C 10 8 7 3
orientation S  A 8 7 3
H 6 5 3
D A 8 2
C A 6 5

The contract can be made either by losing only one heart (bare King-Queen or bare honour in North) or by taking advantage of a blockage in Hearts (honour-second in North) provided that you can establish a club without South getting into hand. Hopeless cases are sometimes the easiest ones.

So Ace of Hearts. North follows with the 7.

It is time for Plan B.

You draw trumps ending up in dummy and you play a club. North plays the Queen. He cashes the Queen of Hearts and continues with a diamond to dummy’s King.

Another club round and this time, North follows with the King. You duck again, take the diamond return with the Ace, cash the Ace of Clubs, ruff a diamond and play the subtly established 10 of Clubs. It works when North holds KQx in Clubs but you will also win if he fails to unblock the King with Kxx on the first round of the suit (not so easy…).

If you find out that North has only two trumps, play diamonds to be able to play the 5 of Clubs.

You will win if North has KQx, Kxx (and he doesn’t take with the King) but also when South holds an honour-second with the 9 (if he follows with his honour, you will play the 10 on the second round).

This third scenario can no longer be ignored since North, who has only four major cards as we now know, is very likely to have four clubs. In the end, this coup was not so easy…

The full deal

S  J 9 2
H Q 7
D Q 10 7 6 3
C K Q 9
S K Q 6 5/span>
H A J 9 
D K 5
C 10 8 7 3
orientation S A 8 7 3
H 6 5 3
D A 8 2
C A 6 5/span>
S 10 4
H K 10 9 4 2
D J 9 4
C J 4 2

Visit our “Let’s talk about bridge” section if you want to read another commented bridge board.