Friday, August 29, 2008

Ruffing your ace

Sometimes you have to ruff your ace. On this deal (playing online at OKbridge), I didn't ruff an ace, but I did ruff one of my good tricks (hands rotated):

J 8 4
10 6
K J 8 7 3
K 8 6
6 2 Q 5 3
A Q 8 4 2 K 7 5
A 4 10 9 6 5
A J 9 4 Q 5 3
A K 10 9 7
J 9 3
Q 2
10 7 2

West North East South
1 Pass 2 2
3 3 All Pass

West led the 6, I played the jack and East erred by covering with the queen. I tried the Q, ducked all around, and another. West won his ace, switched to the A and another to East's king.

East now led the 10 and that was ominous. If I discard, West can ruff and I have a club left to lose. Time to ruff your "ace!" I ruffed with my K for maximum style points -- anyone can ruff with the 7.

I was not quite ready to claim, however, because if I drew trump, ending in dummy, I could discard my losing heart and one club, but would have to lead a club away from the king. So, I drew one more round of trump and led my losing heart and ruffed with the 8. I played the K and discarded a club. West didn't ruff! I led the J and East ruffed, I overruffed and led up to the K for my ninth trick. Whew!

Looking back on it, I should have led up to the K instead of ruffing my heart loser. If West wins the A and has the last trump and leads it, I have nine tricks via five spades, three diamonds and one club. That's a better line, obviously, because it doesn't matter who has the last trump.

Making plus 140 was worth 6.37 IMPs. You can read about what everyone else did by clicking here.

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