Hand of the day #25

The Aces On Bridge by Bobby Wolff

South needed to back her optimism in the auction with accuracy in the play here to limit the damage against a very hostile break.

Opening Lead: 3

When East preempted South saw that she did not need much for game, so rather than putting pressure on her partner with a three-spade overcall, she jumped to game. That was doubled by West, with his trump stack.

Declarer won the heart lead and took the spade king, getting the expected bad news. She cashed the club ace and ruffed a club, then exited with the heart nine, won by East for a club through. West overruffed declarer then played the ace and another diamond. He later scored two more trump tricks for down two.

Declarer had missed a chance there. She knew the trumps were splitting badly, so rather than trying to draw them, she should have embarked on a ruffing game, while setting up clubs in the process. Best is to play a club to the ace at trick two then ruff a club. Declarer then trumps a heart with dummy’s spade king before taking another club ruff. West can overruff and exit with a heart, but declarer ruffs, plays a diamond to the queen, and offloads her second diamond loser on a long club.

West can ruff and cash the diamond ace but must then allow declarer to score another of her low trumps, reducing to a three-card ending. Left with spade ace-jack-nine, declarer exits with the spade jack to endplay West with his queen-10-eight. Thus, declarer escapes for one down.


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