Hand of the day #72

The Aces On Bridge by Bobby Wolff

In today’s problem, from the fertile mind of Eddie Kantar, it is worth noting the point in the auction that North’s jump to game facing a game-forcing hand with the majors shows three trumps and a BAD hand. With more you would bid three spades and hope partner could cue-bid now.

Opening Lead: K

Now to the play in four spades, after ruffing the third diamond. When your side suit (here, hearts) has a third- and possible fourth-round loser and you are cursed with only low trumps in the dummy, you have to choose the right time to give up the lead.

Your main problem is how to dispose of your fourth heart. Let’s look first at what does not work. Drawing all the trumps leaves you with two heart losers; drawing two rounds of trumps before playing on hearts lets East win and play a third trump. And if you play three rounds of hearts at once, West gets to ruff the fourth heart with a higher trump than dummy’s.

Instead, duck a heart at once, win any return, and play the spade ace-king, leaving a low trump at large. Only now do you cash the top hearts. If hearts divide 3-3, draw the remaining trump and claim. If hearts are 4-2, hope that the player with the odd trump also has four hearts (as in the diagram). If so, you can ruff your heart in dummy. If the player with the two hearts has the long trump, tomorrow is another day.


Lead with the Aces

This Hand of the Day was originally published on aces.bridgeblogging.com.

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