Friday March 13th 2015
Using the bidding as a guide to play and defense – part 1
Opening lead: 7 (fourth best).
Bidding commentary: Nothing unusual. North would have liked to have four spades for the double, but if you always wait for the perfect hand, you spend half your life waiting.
Play commentary: The bidding tells you that West has six hearts and the Rule of 11 tells you that East has one heart higher than the 7: the 10. Ergo, East started with 10 x. As the club finesse goes into East, duck the first heart. Assuming East returns the suit at trick two, it is now safe to finesse into East to ensure nine tricks because East is out of hearts.
Defensive commentary: Say declarer errs by winning the first heart, crosses to a diamond and takes a losing spade finesse. As West, after winning the K, looking at the J, you know that partner played his highest heart and, furthermore, the play of the denies the 9. So declarer remains with the Q 9. Translation: Don’t cash the A hoping the queen will drop. In fact, if you lead any card in your hand other than a heart, declarer fails as the club finesse is needed for a ninth trick and it doesn’t work.