Goren Bridge: Plan ahead

January 11, 2024 01:02 pm | Updated 01:02 pm IST

South won the opening club lead with his ace and drew trumps in three rounds, ending in his hand. He led a spade to dummy’s king and East’s ace, and won the club continuation with his king. He led a spade to dummy’s queen and then a diamond to his king and West’s ace. West continued with the jack of diamonds and South could not avoid the loss of two more tricks for down one. South was certainly unlucky, but could he have done better?

Yes! He should have seen when the dummy went down that his contract was cold if the diamonds split 3-2. The only danger was a 4-1 diamond split and he should have started thinking about that right away. South should have won the club opening lead and led a spade to the king before touching trumps. A diamond to the ace and a diamond ruff wouldn’t hurt him provided he didn’t play a diamond honor from either hand. East would win and return, say a club, although nothing else would be better. South could win and draw trumps in three rounds ending in hand, cashing the queen of spades along the way. He could ruff a spade and play a low diamond from both hands. The opponent winning the trick would have to lead another diamond or yield a ruff-sluff. The contract would be cold on any split of the diamond suit.

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