A snare and a delusion By Steve Becker

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Let’s say you’re declarer at six hearts and West leads the king of spades. How should you play the hand?

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Reading Eagle – 15 Dic 2001

West dealer. Both sides vulnerable.

Opening lead — king of spades.

Let’s say you’re declarer at six hearts and West leads the king of spades. How should you play the hand?

The normal reaction probably would be to ruff the spade lead, play four rounds of trumps, cash five club tricks and then try a diamond finesse. If you decided to play this way, you’d go down two. East would win the diamond with the king in the three-card end position and return a spade to West’s A-10 to put a sad end to the matter.

True, you can salvage a trick at the end by rejecting the diamond finesse, but even if you do, it won’t be much of a victory. Actually, 12 tricks are there, easy as pie, once you realize that the diamond finesse is a snare and a delusion.

After drawing trumps and discarding three diamonds from dummy, all you have to do to wrap up the slam is to cross to the queen of clubs, lead the queen of spades and discard a diamond on it. The jack of spades thus becomes your twelfth trick.

The key to playing the hand this way lies in recognizing that you start with 11 top tricks and that you should try to score your twelfth trick in spades rather than diamonds. It is perfectly natural to regard dummy’s beautiful diamonds as a prime source of tricks, but in this particular case all you need is one additional trick rather than a whole bunch of them. Once the trumps divide 4-3, establishing a spade trick in dummy makes a successful outcome absolutely certain.

Esta entrada también está disponible en: Spanish

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