What to do?

Goren Bridge


Bob Jones

Dlr: South ♠ 10 6 5
Vul: N-S K 6 3
A 7 3 2
♣ 9 6 3
♠ K  2 ♠ 9 4
A Q J 8 4 10 7 5 2
10 6 5 K J 9 4
♣ 10 4 2 ♣ K 8 5
♠ A Q J 8 7 3
9
Q 8
♣ A Q J 7
South West North East
1♠ 2 2♠ 3
4♠ All Pass

Opening lead: A

Matchpoint bridge requires some decisions that are not needed in social bridge. Those who enjoy making those decisions play duplicate bridge and those that don’t play social bridge or rubber bridge. Today’s deal offers an example.

An opening diamond lead would have prevented any chance for an overtrick, but there was no indication pointing West to that lead. West continued with the Q at trick two, won by dummy’s king as declarer shed a low diamond. The ♠10 was led, South following with the seven as West won his king. The heart continuation was ruffed with the eight and the ♠A was cashed. The 2-2 trump split meant that the carefully preserved ♠3 could be used as an entry to dummy.

Declarer crossed to dummy with the A and led a club to his queen, winning the trick. What to do now? 10 tricks would be assured by cashing the ♣A and leading another club. The last club could be ruffed in dummy. This play would produce an overtrick if East started with a doubleton king of clubs and would be safe for 10 tricks in all other cases. Alternatively, South could cross back to dummy with the ♠6 and take the club finesse again. There would be an overtrick if East started with three clubs to the king, but would lose the contract if West had the king of clubs and the suit split poorly. What’s your choice? Duplicate or social?

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