La Intra-finesse by Gabriel Chagas source «Bridge Tips by World Masters» by Terence Reese»

[ilink url=»″]Part I     [/ilink]   [ilink url=»″]Part II[/ilink]     [ilink url=»″]Part III[/ilink]

» When You have to develop a shaky suit, consider whether you can prepare for an intra-finesse by ducking with an 8 or 9 on the first round»

Not easy, you might think, living and working in Brazil, to force yourself, in popular estimation, into the ranks or the top half-dozen players in the world; our third entrant, Gabriel Chagas, has done this in just a few years, playing mostly with Pedro Paulo Assumpçao.

Chagas was 23 when he first appeared on the world bridge scene at Deauville, in the 1968 Team Olympiad. After representing Brazil in numerous Bermuda Bowl, he won the Team Olympiad at Monte Carlos in 1976 and followed this with outstanding performances in the annual event, the Sunday Times Pairs, winning by a big margin in 1979.

Gabriel holds a master’s degree in actuarial mathematics. Fluent in Portugese, Spanish, Italian, French and English, familiar with German, Russian and Japanese, and able to understand, Swedish, Dutch, Hebrew, Hungarian, Tagalog, Arabic, Icelandic, and a few others, he must be by far the most cultivated bridge master in a linguistic sense; with his serious but friendly look, he is also one of the most popular.

«The finesse is commonly regarded as one of the humbler forms of play, but it sometimes requires quite a lot of imagination. This is especially true of the Intra-Finesse, a play which I am very fond. This diagram shows one common type of Intra-Finesse:

                                                   Q 8 5 3

                                        J 7                     K 10 4

                                                   A 9 6 2

The bidding has given you quite a good idea of the layout of this suit. To hold yourself to one loser, you play small towards the dummy and finesse the 8!. East will make the 10 but later you will enter the North hand and lead the Queen, pinning West’s Jack. Well, this was an Intra-Finesse.

Here’s how an Intra-Finesse can arise in practical play:


Q 9 2
6 5 4
A Q 3
K 8 4 3



10 6
10 9 8 2
5 4
10 9 7 5 2


K J 7
10 9 7 6


A 8 5 4 3
7 3
K J 8 2
A 6


South plays in 4 after East has opened a strong 1NT. West leads the 10 and South ruffs the third round. Knowing that East has the K, South leads low to the 9, losing to the J.

South wins the club return and takes a second and third round of this suit to test the distribution. With East showing out, South decides to place him with three trumps. So after ruffing the third club, he crosses with a diamond and leads the Q.

By ferlema