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Help with lines of play (Le Bridgeur Magazine No. 911) – Jérôme Rombaut

2017 World Vice-Champion Jérôme Rombaut writes a column in the French magazine “Le Bridgeur” every two months. The article below was published in issue 910 of the magazine (July/August 2017). This deal analysis is taken from the Biarritz Bridge Festival which was held in early July 2017.

As announced in a previous issue, Funbridge has started broadcasting bridge events live. The Biarritz bridge festival held in July 2017 was their baptism of fire.

Here is a deal that I played with Alexis Maugat, the creator of Funbridge AI “Argine”, during the last IMP scored tournament session of this festival.

I contemplate my nice hand: ♠AK63 ♥6 ♦AQJ ♣AKJ54. And I am pleasantly surprised when my partner opens 1♥.

I decide to respond 1♠, which was probably a wrong choice since 2♣ is theoretically better. But I thought I would thus have more space to describe our hands. And 6NT becomes the final contract. I receive the lead of the Jack of Spades and dummy spreads his hand:

S –
H A Q J 7 5 3
D K 8 4 3
C 10 8 6
S A K 6 3
H 6
D A Q J
C A K J 5 4

 

6♣ is much better but 6NT remains a decent contract. Many plans of play are possible. You can play the Jack of Clubs from your hand or play the Diamonds you hold to get rid of them and then… Then what? I decide to try to finesse against the King of Hearts (successful!) and the Queen of Clubs (failed!). Then all the opponents had to do was return Clubs and my communications would have gone. Unable to cash the 12 tricks agreed, I am now hoping to find the Diamonds split 3-3 (or the King of Hearts-second).

Another possible and more subtle line of play is: after discarding a Club in dummy on the first trick, finesse and duck a trick in Hearts. If the Hearts split 3-3 or the King of Hearts-second is onside, this is perfect. And if the Hearts don’t want to smile on you, you can still try the Club finesse.

Have you found a better line of play? Feel free to share your suggestions with us…

The full hand was:

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

 

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rakesqAmokFlavio TaruffiRobbie Feyder Recent comment authors
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Robbie Feyder
Robbie Feyder

What about cashing the AQJ Diamonds then doing the HK finesse. It is putting all your eggs into a 50% but maybe this is better. Then cash DK and finesse to the CJ. If they take the CQ then the CT is an entry to dummy for the HA. If don’t take the CT then hope for a 3/2 C split.
Note: If lose HK finesse then try for the CQ doubleton with the CT as the entry to dummy.

Flavio Taruffi
Flavio Taruffi

What if, after taking the lead, you cash A♦ & Q♦, and play a low ♣ towards the dummy? Or, better, without cashing two rounds in ♦ maybe.

Amok
Amok

What if after king of spade You cöllect 3 tricks in diamond and then play jack of clubs ?
You than have an open connection between the hands to collect remaining tricks what ever option west choose.

Amok
Amok

What if after king of spade You collect 3 tricks in diamond and then play jack of spade ?
Irrespective of west playing queen or not You than have an open connection between your hands and can
collect remaining tricks.

rakesq
rakesq

I like the line of cashing AQJ of diamonds then leading a club towards the 10. This likely establishes 11 tricks and rectifies the count for a squeeze.