Tim Bourke

Paying attention to discards by Tim Bourke

Teams, Dealer:  North/South Vunerable


 A Q 5
 7 4
 A Q 6 2
 A Q J 4


 A K 9 6 2 
 J 10 9 7                      
 8 7 3                


 J 10 9 2  
 8 5 3 
 8 5 3 
 K 5 2 


 K 8 7 6 3
 Q J 10 
 K 4
 10 9 6


The Bidding:





   1  Paso









Contract: 4

Lead: K

At the first table, West cashed the K and A then, after muttering, “It’s a guess,” he shifted to the J . Declarer took this in hand with the K and drew three rounds of trumps.

When East turned up with a trump trick, declarer cashed dummy’s two diamond winners, discarding a club from hand.

Next, declarer ruffed dummy’s last diamond and cashed the queen of hearts before pausing to think. In the end, he decided, correctly, that a 3-3 division in East’s heart and club was holdings more likely than a winning club finesse and so exited with his last trump.

East was not a happy camper because, after winning the trick with his jack of trumps, he had to lead away from the K into dummy’s by-then bare Ace-Queen.

The defence began the same way at the other table, with the King and Ace of hearts, but this West was more observant. He noted that his partner followed to the first heart with a discouraging three and to the second trick with the five of hearts.

This suggested that East’s remaining heart was the eight, to justify the discouraging card and declarer’s play. He correctly read this as suggesting a shift to the lower suit, clubs, and that switch did indeed defeat the contract.

By ferlema