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“Touch” of elegance (Le Bridgeur Magazine n°885 – July 2014)

jerome750_en

Article written by Jérôme Rombaut and published in the French magazine Le Bridgeur n° 885 on 15 July 2014.

Is a simple finesse enough to win the contract or should you prefer the squeeze to it? This is a recurring dilemma at the table. Would you have made the right decision?

Here is a deal from the tournament of the day of the Touch version (for smartphones, tablets and Mac) of Funbridge. You hold the hand below in South, all vulnerable:

S Q 10 8 7 6 4 3 2 
H K 4
D K
C A 2

 

Here is the sequence at my table:

SWNE
1S2H2S4H
4Sdouble

 

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

 

West leads the spade ace and continues with the king, East discarding the heart 3 and 2. West now makes the most inconvenient return: a low diamond to East’s 10. What to do next?

At this stage, at first sight, you have two possibilities to win: you find where either the heart ace or the club king is. What are you going to do next?

Given the discards, it seems that the heart ace (and even probably the heart queen) is in West. The double bid also confirms that the heart ace is in West.

But what about the club king? As East showed nothing, you could be tempted to think that he holds it, but would West have played diamonds again without any holding in clubs?

Not obvious! In doubt, I preferred losing a heart on the diamond ace and try the club finesse. It failed… A more elegant end of coup would have been preferable: go back to dummy to play the diamond ace by discarding a heart, then ruff a diamond and draw all trumps.

With four cards left, West holds HAQCK7, dummy holds HJ9CQV, whereas you hold S2 HKCA2.

When the last trump is played, West, squeezed, is defenceless. Either he throws a heart and playing hearts again obliges him to give his club king away or he throws a club and his king will face the ace.

Here are the four hands:

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