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Wrong line, Right time

Wrong line, Right time

By In 43rd World Bridge Teams Championships On 16th August 2017

Wrong line, Right time

As the Round Robin in Lyon moves towards the half way point we are handily placed. nearing the end of our current match the deals have been rather dull when I pick up:

With neither side vulnerable the player on my right passes. I would start with a 10-12 1NT, but as that is not part of our methods I go quietly as does West. When my partner opens 1spades I find myself with a problem. Our methods include two-way Drury, but I’m a spade short for that. Despite being a passed hand I could respond with a forcing 1NT, but eventually I decide that the strength of my heart suit warrants a response of 2hearts. That appears to give someone a problem, but when the tray is eventually returned I see it must have been my partner, as the 6hearts card is on view.

This has been our dramatic auction:

West leads the two of diamonds and I anxiously await the dummy:

I don’t care for this – if I cannot find a way home I will have to accept the blame for failing to have a fifth heart. I ruff the opening lead and play the jack of clubs from dummy! East wins with the queen and returns a trump, but I win in hand, ruff a diamond, return to hand with the ten of clubs, draw trumps (West proves to have four) and take the spade finesse. When that succeeds I can show my cards.

This was the full deal:

Post mortem

It would not have helped East to withhold the queen of clubs; however, in the cold light of day I’m not sure my line was best. If West is the player with the queen of clubs a spade return forces you to take the finesse.
You can discard a spade from dummy at trick one. Say East wins with the ace of diamonds and plays back the four of hearts. You win in hand, cash dummy’s ace of clubs, ruff a diamond, draw trumps pitching two more spades from dummy, throw the spadesQ on the diamondsK and then play a club intending to put in the jack. Not for the first time the best line was not the winning one.
In the other room they reached 3NT and took nine tricks, declarer winning the fourth round of diamonds and losing a club trick to East’s queen.

About the Author

Mark Horton
Mark Horton

Mark Horton British journalist and expert player, was Editor of Bridge Magazine 1995-2017 and now edits the online publication Bridgerama+. At one time, his business cards were inscribed: Have Cards will Travel, but following the death of his most famous sponsor, the Rabbi Leonard Helman, he has tended to concentrate on his writing exploits (in 2018 he had five books published!). Anyone wanting to discover how to lose at bridge on a regular basis (and pay for the privilege) should feel free to contact him. He currently lives in Shrewsbury with his wife Liz.