Bridge in Allentown

Played bridge with my friend Bettie McLean at her Brookside Country Club game (1 April 2014). On the final board I played 6N:

S A2
C KJ63

S QJ9               S T876
H J7543          H 83
D T62              D Q84
C Q7                 C 8542

S K543
H K9
D A973

West led the H4 to my 9. I successfully finessed and played clubs. West first and easily discarded a diamond, convincing me he did not have the Q. I saw two possibilities for a 13th trick, either a pseudo-squeeze of East in diamonds and spades or leading KJ from the board to smother West’s T. When no squeeze materialized, I finally played the diamond KJ, East covering with the Q and establishing my 9 as the 13th trick for a top. I realized that against experts, with West’s hand with the diamond Q instead of the T I should promptly discard a diamond to encourage Declarer to try my line and fail, when the finesse would work.

The next day I played with my mom in Bethlehem. On the following board my mom was playing 4H against Lew Schor (West) and Stan Yellin (East, hands rotated).

S 5
H K8
C QJ832

S T9832         S QJ74
H QJ                H 52
D K74              D J853
C AK7              C 654

H AT97643
D T9
C 6

Lew led the CA and got a discouraging 4 from Stan. Nevertheless he continued clubs, apparently establishing dummy, but with the following brilliant effect. Declarer, no longer needing to ruff a spade, could play a heart to the K, dropping the Q. Following restricted choice, Declarer now took the finesse, losing to West’s J for a top for West. Without the club continuation, Declarer would ruff a spade, be unable to take the heart finesse, and drop the Q. Indeed, seeing the hopeless situation outside trumps, West should tempt Declarer with the heart finesse exactly as he did, a brilliant play.

One Comment

  1. Stan Yellin:

    Thanks for the mention. I think Lew was the Rueful Rabbit – making a stupid play but coming out smelling like a rose.

    By the way, your mother and Sylvia had nice game yesterday – did well against us.

    Stan Yellin

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