Misplay These Hands With Me


Mark Horton
Reproduced by permission of A New Bridge Magazine
newbridgemag.com

Role Reversal

As the years take their toll one finds that one’s role in a team is frequently reduced to that of board carrier. During an early round of the Gold Cup a member of my squad is indisposed, offering me a rare opportunity. We are well ahead when towards the end with only our side vulnerable I pick up this hand with potential:

♠ A K J 8 5 3 2
A J 3
K Q
♣ J

West and my partner pass, but East produces the stop card and follows it with 4. I overcall 4♠ and West considers for a moment before doubling, leaving us with this auction:

West North East South
Pass Pass 4 4♠
Dbl All Pass

West leads the 8 and I get a dummy with a few assets.

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

I win the opening lead with the ace, ruff a heart, cash the ♣A and ruff a club. When I cash a top trump both defenders follow. I play the K and West wins and returns the suit, East following. It won’t help to play a high trump, but I may be able to force West to assist me. I exit with a low trump and West wins (East discarding a heart) and returns the ♣9 to his partner’s queen. I ruff, cash the ♠K and exit with a spade, but West wins and plays the ♣K so I have to give East the last trick. This was the layout:

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

Post Mortem

Like so many hands this one could have been made by better timing: declarer should play a club to the ace at trick two, then ruff a club. A heart ruff is followed by another club ruff. Then declarer plays as before, but the difference is that West can only exit once in clubs and will eventually have to surrender a trick to dummy.

That West can defeat the contract by leading a trump at trick one,then taking the A and switching to a low club merely serves to illustrate what an impossible game bridge is.

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