« Back to blog homepage

Think Outside The Box (Le Bridgeur Magazine No. 920)

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 920 of the magazine (March / April 2019), Jérôme gives us a new board analysis from federation tournaments.

Commented bridge board by Jérôme Rombaut

When a line of play is quite obvious, it can hide an unusual plan. Be creative!

As you may know, it is possible to play federation tournaments on Funbridge and more and more federations are licensing Funbridge to run online tournaments (for a fee) for their players. It is no surprise that the FFB (French Bridge Federation), our historical partner, attracts the most.

Here is an interesting deal from one of these tournaments.

How do you play 5♦ after the lead of the King of Clubs?

S A Q 8 7 5
H A 9 7 2
D 9 5
C A 5
orientation
S
H Q 10 3
D A J 10 8 7 6 4 3
C  J 4
SWNorthE
PASS
PASSPASS
PASSPASS
PASSPASSPASS

The obvious line is: Ace of Clubs, Ace of Spades (discard of a club), 9 of Diamonds that you let run (to protect yourself against onside King-Queen-third) before finishing with the double heart finesse.

Now the imaginative approach: Ace of Clubs, Ace of Spades (discard of a club), ruffed club and Jack of Diamonds!

  • East takes with the bare King (first bonus). He can only return spades. You discard a heart in your hand and here you go.
  • West takes with the bare King (second bonus). He can only return spades. Dummy plays the Queen. There is a 50-50 chance that the King is in West.
  • In all other cases, you can still try the double finesse in Hearts, even when East holds all trumps.

Please note that theoretically bonuses won’t work if the Queen of trumps is bare. Indeed, with the King-second, any defender can follow with the King and play trumps. Any… but certainly not anyone!

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

For the anecdote, no-one found the winning line of play at the tournament. It’s always easier later over a drink in the bar!

Leave a Reply

avatar