One Hand, Two Lessons

At last night’s duplicate session we had one hand with two lessons.  We were the only pair to bid a makable four heart game with MWG as the declarer.  Left-hand opponent (LHO) led a diamond as RHO had bid them.  The bid makes it likely that RHO has the king of trump.  The dummy came down and things looked good.  We had two diamond losers (dummy has three and the hand has two), the king of hearts to finesse, solid clubs (nine with the top three), and the ace of spades.  It looked like four or five heart winners, five club winners, and a spade leading to making the contract.

First lesson: It is OK to give a ruff and a slough sometimes is the lesson for the defense.  RHO won the first two diamonds and led a third.  It was likely that LHO was out of diamond as was declarer.  Declarer had the queen-ten and three other trump.  Dummy had the ace, jack, and two.  Opponents had king, nine and three little hearts between them.  We ruffed with the eight, LHO produced the nine and when RHO had the king we were down one.  We, however want to consider what happens if we went up with the ten and tried the finesse.  If we lead the queen and it loses to the king then RHO must lead another diamond despite nobody else having diamonds.  It is their best chance for a trump promotion.  It gives declarer a chance to make a mistake.

Second lesson: declarer play.  We should have ruffed with the ten or queen.  Then we play a low heart to the ace.  Then we play the two from the dummy.  If RHO produces the king, then we play low from the hand, ruff the diamond lead high in the hand, draw the last trump with dummy’s jack and claim.  If LHO produces the king then life is great except folks that didn’t play safe will make five.


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