A Move that Should Know by Helen Sobel
Three declarers out of 10 who held the South hand in today’s deal went wrong, despite the fact that the play involved should have been a simple one to figure out for any reasonably experienced player.
On 17 December, 2015 At 12:06
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The Milwaukee Journal – 27 Ene 1950
Three declarers out of 10 who held the South hand in today’s deal went wrong, despite the fact that the play involved should have been a simple one to figure out for any reasonably experienced player. But, surprisingly enough, the hand occurred in a state championship. Would you have made four spades on the North-South cards?
South dealer; both sides vulnerable
At all 10 tables the final contrart was four spades by South, mostly the bidding went very snappily, one spade by South, two diamonds by North, four spades by South.
The queen of hearts was invariably opened and, of course, won by South’s ace. The issue was clearly drawn, the diamond ace had to be lost and it was simply a matter of losing no more than two trump tricks. All 10 declarers played the ace of spades at trick two and the hapless three who lost the hand continued with the jack or ten, “one of their equals.”
Obviously all three had to lose three trump tricks and went down. They weren’t unlucky either due to inexperience or just plain thoughtlessness they had tackled the suit in a way that could only lose.
Missing six spades to the king-queen, including the nine and eight nothing can be gained by playing an honor on the second round of the suit. The ace should he followed by one of the low spades and this must be the winning play against any possible distribution of the suit on which the hand can be made.
If the suit breaks three—three playing low loses nothing. What difference does it make if a lowly eight or nine captures the second round for the opponents as long as the king and queen drop together on the third round”.
But if either the king or queen is doubleton in either hand, and how frequently this will happen, the low spade will equally effectively take out that blank honor on the second round and declarer will still have the jack-ten left to hold the still outstanding king-nine of queen-nine to one trick. In brief the play of the jack or 10 is nothing more or less than a “habit” play while the low play should take only a few seconds of logical thinking for all but a beginner.
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