Eugene Register-Guard – 23 Mar 1966
Oswald points out to Jim that deliberate failure by third hand to play a high card, not necessarily the highest, but some high card, is known as finessing against your partner and is one of the more expensive bad habits a player can acquire.
Jim: «You are so very right. Still there are a few instances when you should play low. One of the most frequent occurs when you know that your partner has opened the top of nothing and you can hang onto your high card with full knowledge that it will do absolutely no good to play it.»
Oswald: «Today’s hand is a good illustration of this type of play. South is in a good four spade contract because he will make it if trumps break, irrespective of the location of the king of diamonds.»
Both vulnerable, South Dealer
Opening Lead 8
Jim: «West has no satisfactory lead anywhere. In such circumstances a doubleton lead is not apt to do any harm and may do some good. Anyway, he does open the eight of diamonds. Declarer will surely cover with one of dummy’s higher cards, probably with the queen. He wants to do his best to get East to play the king if he holds it»
Oswald: «It should be just as easy for East to play low in this spot as if he were looking at all the cards. The eight could not be second best and no one leads away from an ace-Jack combination against a suit contract.»
Jim: «If East plays low South goes down one. He is unlucky to have to lose a trump trick and he also must lose two clubs and a spade. If East rises with his king declarer makes four diamond tricks instead of three and is able to discard his losing spade on the fourth diamond.