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Play Bridge: The finessing type of end play
Today’s column is the 200th column published in the Trail Times and shows the finessing type of end play.
At the end of June, we saw a type of end play executed by discarding a loser. In both types, the declarer draws trump, performs an elimination removing the defenders’ safe exit cards, and then throws a defender in with the lead. The defender is forced to make an exit favourable to the declarer.
The bidding: South opens one spade, and North bids Jacoby two No Trump showing four-card support and an opening hand. South is required to bid a singleton or void at the three level or a second strong suit at the four-level. With a minimum, South will jump to game but with 15 to 17, he bids three No Trump. With a five-four major fit or better, one will never play three No Trump, but one will bid it expressing mild slam interest. Bidding three of the major shows a stronger slam interest, 18 plus points. The bids after 3NT are cuebids and South bids slam.
It should be noted, that one never uses an ace-asking bid with two quick losers in any one suit. Blackwood is also not used with a void.
The Lead: Ten of hearts. A passive lead against a slam is often required.
The play: Declarer wins the opening lead and draws trump. He cashes the second heart honour and ruffs a heart, takes the diamond finesse and ruffs the last heart. He cashes the Ace of diamonds, and the defenders have no safe exit when they win a club trick. Declarer now plays a small club to the 9, covering whatever East plays.
West wins the club and is forced to lead another club giving declarer his contract. A sluff-and-a-ruff would also give declarer his contract.
Result: Six spades making for +980.