Misplay These Hands With Me


Mark Horton

Well Spotted

On one of my regular visits to the NACBs, we have managed to reach the final of the von Zedtwitz Life Master Pairs when I pick up the following hand:

♠ A 10 3 2
9 4 3
A 10 9
♣ A 7 2

I am South. East, the dealer, passes and in deference to my partner’s methods I open 1♣. When West overcalls 1, my partner places the Stop
card on the table before jumping to 4♣. Trusting that my memory has not failed me, we play that as a preemptive raise, so I have nothing to add. West considers for a while before
passing, giving us this auction:

West North East South
Pass 1♣
1 4♣ All Pass

West leads the K, and partner delivers a fair dummy.
♠ Q
J 6
8 5 4
♣ K Q J 10 8 6 4

♠ A 10 3 2
9 4 3
A 10 9
♣ A 7 2

There are nine tricks on top, and clearly the only chance is to establish a second trick in spades. I win the diamond lead with the ace, and when I cross to the ♣K, West discards a diamond. No doubt he was thinking of doubling 4♣ for takeout. When I lead the ♠Q, East covers with the king, so I win with the ace and ruff a spade.

I play dummy’s ♣6, planning to overtake it with the 7, but East thwarts my plan by putting up the 9. I win with the ace and ruff a spade, felling West’s jack, but with no entry
to my hand I cannot reach the established ♠10 and have to concede one down.

This was the full deal:

♠ Q
J 6
8 5 4
♣ K Q J 10 8 6 4
♠ J 9 4 ♠ K 8 7 6 5
A 8 7 2 K Q 10 5
K Q J 6 3 2 7
♣ — ♣ 9 5 3
♠ A 10 3 2
9 4 3
A 10 9
♣ A 7 2

Post Mortem

East did well to recognize the necessity for the blocking play, but I should have been successful — do you see my error? Had I ruffed the first spade with the ♣8 instead of the 4, dummy would have retained two club spots that were lower than declarer’s 7. Now the blocking play does not work because declarer can still reach his hand on the third round of trumps.

Perhaps West should have doubled 4♣. With careful play, 4♠ can be made.

Please follow and like us: