Secrets of declarer play: Elimination and endplay [part1]

Secret of declarer play

Let’s focus today on the cases where the endplay is only effective against one of the two players or more effective against one of them. Examples:

Deal 1
Deal 2

But of course, we can’t always know which defender will get in. What’s left to do is hope and pray it will be the right one!

A relatively simple example:

Deal 7

South plays 6 Hearts on a Diamond lead. The fate of the contract seems to rest on the success of the finesse against the Queen of Spades, but the presence of the 9 allows declarer to increase his chances. He takes the Ace of Diamonds, draws trumps, ruffs dummy’s third Diamond, then gets off lead by playing Ace-King of Clubs and a Club. If East wins the trick, South can claim the rest because the defender must either play a Spade towards the Ace-Jack or give him a ruff and discard. If West wins the third Club, he’ll play a Spade and South will play small from dummy, making whenever East doesn’t hold the 10 and Queen of Spades (if he plays the 10, South wins the King and plays towards the Jack).

Exercice 1:

Deal 3

Lead: ♥J (the 8 from East).

How do you play?

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