Goren Bridge Society

Percentages

South showed a minimum with his three spade bid. When North started looking for slam anyway, South was happy to co-operate by cue bidding his ace of hearts. North-South were using Key Card Blackwood and South’s five spade response showed two “key cards,” among the four aces and the king of trumps, plus the queen of trumps. The resulting slam contract was a good one, needing only to bring the spade suit in for five winners.

South won the opening heart lead with his ace and crossed to dummy with the ace of spades. The 10 of spades was led and the moment of truth had arrived. Should declarer take the finesse or try to drop the jack? The percentage play with this combination is to play for the spades to split 3-2. South, however, had some additional information.

West was known to be at least 5-5 in hearts and a minor, probably clubs. He had at most three cards in spades and diamonds and he had already shown up with a spade. North-South held a combined eight spades and seven diamonds, so there was a slight edge that West was more likely to have a singleton spade rather than a singleton diamond. Also, West might well have led a singleton diamond if he had one. That would have been the winning lead had East held either the ace of spades or the ace of diamonds. After long deliberation, South ran the 10 of spades and had his contract. Nice play!

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Printable version | May 29, 2020 6:49:26 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/society/percentages/article25968895.ece

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