Hand of the day #20

The Aces On Bridge by Bobby Wolff

In our final deal from the WBT Masters in Reykjavik this January match wits with Michal Klukowski (many people’s vote for the world’s best player…and he is still a junior).

Opening Lead: 7

Michal bid three no-trump in the face of East’s heart raise and received the heart seven lead. He won in hand and started clubs, naturally leading towards the honor in the short hand first. This paid huge dividends when West’s club ace beat thin air. All well and good; but you are still a trick short when West clears hearts. The defense is poised to cash three hearts if you surrender the lead.

Your only chance is to run the clubs and hope some pressure develops. If the defender with longer hearts (West) was dealt his side’s sole guards in both pointed suits too, he will be subject to a squeeze.

So, you continue with a club to the queen, West showing out. Next comes the marked finesse of the club 10 and two more rounds of the suit. West can spare three spade discards to begin with, but the fifth club destroys him. A spade pitch is immediately fatal, and a heart would allow declarer to knock out the spade ace, losing only two hearts and the black aces. West will probably let go a diamond in the hope that his partner holds jack-third, but that just concedes the overtrick here, with declarer able to cash four diamonds.

Klukowski of course found this line of play, picking up a game swing when his counterparts lingered in partscore in the other room.

Bid with the Aces

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