Hand of the day #47

The Aces On Bridge by Bobby Wolff

Follow the play and see if you can spot declarer’s error in today’s deal.

Opening Lead: K

West led the diamond king and, when that held, continued with a low diamond. He knew East had the ace as declarer had not won the first trick. East inserted the diamond 10 then tried to cash the ace, South ruffing. Declarer started trumps, leading one to the queen. He returned to his hand with the safe diamond ruff (West was known to hold the queen still after his opening lead) and played out high trumps. West won the ace and switched to the spade two, won in dummy. Declarer next cashed the spade king and tried to ruff a spade low to hand in order to draw trumps. Alas, West overruffed for the setting trick. So, when did declarer err?

Declarer had to guess how to get back to his hand after being put in dummy. A club ruff would have worked, but he did not count on West’s well-timed falsecard of switching to the spade two. However, declarer need not have put himself to this decision.

Best is to cash both black-suit ace-kings while in dummy with the heart queen. Only then does declarer ruff a diamond in order to march out high trumps. Upon winning the heart ace, West cannot place declarer in dummy. He must lead a club for declarer to ruff.

This play of taking the black-suit tops to prevent declarer from subsequently being endplayed in dummy is known as a dentist’s coup; extracting a defender’s unhelpful exit-cards.


Bid with the Aces

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