Monday, November 2, 2009

Using all your assets

The master chessplayer must make good use of his pawns to win. Even though they are minor figures, he will lose if they are not used to best advantage. Intermediate spot cards are the same for the bridge player.

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

After East opened 3, North cuebid 4. South bid 4 and North raised to 6. Six hearts to the A K J 10 4 2 and 22 high-card points -- I wish I always had support like this for my partners!

West led a diamond ruffed in dummy. Declarer cashed the A, noticing that East showed out. Looking at all four hands, what would you do?

South showed how to use his pawns -- the two major-suit 9s. At trick three, he led the J -- this gave West a problem. If West won the queen, the 9 would be an entry to the closed hand to finesse in spades. Because winning would be hopeless, West ducked.

Now declarer led the Q from dummy, and West had a different problem. If he won, the 9 would be an entry to finesse in trumps, so he ducked again. South followed with the J. West had no answer -- he had to win this, or lose his spade trick.

Declarer ruffed the diamond return, crossed to his 9 and finessed West's Q 8 to make his contract.

If South had played on spades before leading the J, the contract can be defeated. Do you see how?


  1. Interesting.

    If declarer plays SQ before HJ, West can win and continue a D. Declarer has to ruff small, and can now only take one heart finesse because of the trump blockage!

  2. @anonymous: Yes, exactly. This is an excellent bridge deal. Here's why: Most players would get it wrong at the table, yet when you show it to them, they can see why the "right" line works.

  3. Dumb me! I read too fast and thought we were trying to defeat a 4H bid & just couldn't see how to do that. Duh - then it dawned on me - I bet the bid was 6!

    In football, I'm always saying it's all about the turnovers (like that makes me a sports genuis) & in bridge, it's the transportation! Oh, and a handful of points. My mojo has been poor in the point count arena of late.

  4. I'm reading and thinking about my mother who embarrassed our family terribly when I was about 10-11 years old...we went to a baseball game and she pretended she didn't know anything about it and began asking stupid questions in a very loud voice, like "Why's that funny man dusting the tile?" Or, "Why's that guy wearing a mask. Does he think it's Halloween?"

    Well, you get the picture. She thought it was hilarious.

    Thus, I won't comment on this post so as I don't embarrass myself!

  5. @Nina: thx for the comment

    @Jacob: Your mom sounds like a character. I see where you get your sense of humor.