Goren Bridge Society

Which play?

Declarer will often reach a crossroads in the play of a hand, where he must choose between one play or another. It might seem like a toss-up, but it almost never is. There is usually something to go on.

The ace of spades held the first trick and West continued with the king of spades. South ruffed and cashed the ace and king of trumps. East’s discard was a big disappointment. This would have been an easy one had the trumps split 3-2, with perhaps an overtrick or two coming declarer’s way. South had to decide what to do. Hoping for a 3-3 split in spades, South crossed to dummy with a diamond and ruffed a spade. Had the spades split evenly, South would have discarded a club on the queen of diamonds and another on an established spade.

West, however, over-ruffed the third spade, cashed the queen of hearts, and exited with a diamond. He couldn’t be prevented from taking a trick with the king of clubs for down one.

Could South have done better? Yes! Instead of ruffing a spade when he did, he could have cashed two more diamonds and then ruffed a spade. Regardless of how he defended, West would eventually be forced to lead a club away from his king. Should South have found this play? We think so. West would have been most unlikely to continue with a spade at trick two if he held three of them.

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Printable version | Apr 19, 2021 6:19:38 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/society/which-play/article33578337.ece

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