Goren bridge: Foresight

November 30, 2023 12:12 pm | Updated 12:12 pm IST

South in today’s deal was Ferit Tavlan, from Germany. His play of this deal won him the award for “Best Played Hand” in a recent online tournament.

East played his ace on the opening diamond lead and Tavlan paused to consider the play. He would surely come to nine tricks if the club suit provided six of them, but he did not want to overtake his queen of clubs. He would then need a 3-3 split of the missing clubs to have six tricks from the suit, and the percentages favored a 4-2 split. The queen of spades was a possible entry to dummy, if West held the ace, but the defense would probably see this. East could shift to spades at trick two and knock out the queen of spades before Tavlan could use it for an entry to the clubs. What to do?

Tavlan made the spectacular play of dropping his king of diamonds under the ace at trick one! This threatened a late diamond entry to dummy as well as the possible spade entry and the defense could not knock them both out. Even a heart shift at trick two could be handled if Tavlan rose with his ace, blocking the suit. Three no trump is still not cold after this play, but it was unbeatable on this lie of the cards, so Tavlan’s imagination won him this well-earned award.

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