June 24, 2024

A Simple Tip

A simple tip

 

East made an understandable error on this week’s deal. Would you?

South Deals
Both Vul
6 5 3
A K Q 5
9 6 5
Q 9 8
10 4 2
J 9 7
A K Q 3
6 5 2
N
W   E
S
K Q J
6 4 3 2
8 7 2
7 4 3
 
A 9 8 7
10 8
J 10 4
A K J 10
West North East South
      1 N
Pass 2 N Pass 3 N
Pass Pass Pass

 

South accepted North’s 2 NT invitation to Game – marginal with 13 points – because of his three 10’s.

West led  A and continued with  KQ and then  3 – a length winner. North and South discarded ♠s and East discarded ♣ 3. West then switched to ♠ 2. South beat East’s ♠ J with ♠ A and cashed his four ♣ winners. East had to make two discards: first he discarded ♠ Q but then, holding as his last five cards ♠ K and  6432 and being unwilling to part with ♠ K, he let go  2. This was the crucial error – though his s were very feeble – he needed to keep all four of them to match dummy’s length. Declarer was now able to cash  AKQ and table  5 as his ninth trick.

East should have discarded ♠ K on the fourth ♣, hoping West held ♠ 10. East’s  6 would then have beaten dummy’s  5 on the fourth round and declarer would have been unable to make his contract.

It was ironic that South had bid 3 NT on the strength of holding three 10’s. They each proved worthless – but if he had held the fourth 10 – ♠ 10 – then he would have made his contract however East discarded. Assuming he chose to discard all his ♠s (as he should), then declarer would have scored ♠ 10 as his ninth trick.

ANDREW’S TIP: Keep equal length with dummy.