Alfred Sheinwold

Spokane Chronicle – 26 Nov 1982

If you were playing today’s hand at seven notrump you wouldn’t know which opponent had the queen of clubs. South cashed all of his red winners and then both top spades. When the queen of spades didn’t drop he took the ace of clubs and then led a club to finesse with the jack. Down one.

«It was my best chance,» South protested. «I played for two suits instead of just trying to find the queen of clubs.»

South enjoyed slightly better than an even chance, but he could have had more. He should have cashed all of his red winners and just one top spade. By that time South knows that East started with only four red cards and therefore nine black cards. West has five black cards.

The odds are nine to five that East has the queen of clubs. Declarer therefore leads dum-my’s jack of clubs for a finesse. When this works he takes the ace of clubs and returns to dummy with the ace of spades to cash the king of clubs.