Test Your Planning in Suit Contracts By Paul Lavings

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Plan the play in the following 4 spade contracts:

Paul Lavings and Keiran Dyke
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Paul LavingsSource: www.abf.com.au Newsletters

Plan the play in the following 4 contracts:

aaxx 1

1) To plan your play in a suit contract count your losers from the hand with the longer trumps, or the stronger trumps if the trump length is equal. Your losers are three hearts and a diamond, and the best plan is to ruff the third heart in dummy. Win A and play a heart, then play another heart, and then trump the third heart with 9.

2) The time to crossruff is when you have strong trumps. When you have weak trumps it is vital to draw trumps as quickly as possible, to stop opponents scoring their big trumps separately. Win A and play a trump, and when you regain the lead play a second trump. If the trumps break 4-1 you were doomed to failure anyway.

3) Your losers are one heart, two diamonds and a club. After opponents take their three red winners take AK, and if trumps break you are home. If trumps are 3-1, draw two rounds only and play off AKQ. If clubs break 3-3 you are home. If clubs break 4-2, the hand with four clubs may have the three trumps, in which case you will trump the fourth club in dummy. If trumps break 3-1 and clubs 4-2, and the hand with two clubs has the three trumps, then the contract could never be made.

4) Your losers are three hearts only. The danger is that if you win A and draw trumps, you will not establish a heart trick if spades break 4-1. As is so often the case you need to play your side suit before drawing trumps. Win A and continue to play hearts whatever opponents do. If they continue clubs you have time to trump your fourth heart in dummy. If they attack trumps then you have time to set up the fourth heart.

5) Your losers are one spade, two hearts, and two diamonds. The clubs will easily supply enough discards, but you must be careful to draw all of opponents’ trumps first. Ruff the third diamond and play AKJ. Even if trumps are 4-1 you will still be able to draw the fourth trump. Now there is no outstanding trump and you can cash all your clubs in peace.

6) From the hand with the stronger trumps you have a spade, a heart, a diamond and three club losers, but two of the clubs you can later trump in dummy. If the diamond finesse fails you are down anyway, but if it wins you will be able to discard your heart loser. So win A, finesse Q, return to A and repeat the finesse. For no extra risk you give yourself a 50-50 chance to make the contract.

7) Your losers are two or three spades, one diamond and two clubs. You have an unavoidable diamond loser, so you need the trumps to be 3-2 to succeed. As you need to trump two clubs in dummy the best line is to win K and duck a trump. When you regain the lead cash A, leaving the master trump outstanding, and trump your two club losers in dummy in comfort.

8) Your losers are one, two or three spades, two hearts and a club. As one heart loser and one club loser are unavoidable, trumps must be 3-2 to make 4. If you cash AK, and then play hearts the opponent with three spades and four hearts will win the third heart and draw dummy’s last trump. On the other hand, if you play AK and a third heart, the opponent with four hearts and three trumps will play a fourth heart promoting an extra trump trick. The solution is to win A, and duck a heart. When you regain the lead, cash AK, AK, and trump the fourth round of hearts in dummy.

Paul Lavings

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