Friday, 12 February 2010

REBECCA ROOD'S MAILBAG..............................................
Dear Rebecca, The other day I went off in 6 diamonds losing to both an off-side king of diamonds....and an on-side king of clubs ! In dummy I had three small in both these suits, opposite my AQJ1098 in diamonds and AQJ in clubs.
At trick one my LHO led the queen of hearts which I took in dummy with the king. I then elected to take the diamond finesse, and joy upon joy the jack held. Using up my last entry to dummy with the Ace of hearts, I was now ready to pick up the king of diamonds.....and just concede a club to make the contract. However, when I played a second diamond from dummy my RHO showed out. Bugger. I now had a certain loser in diamonds not to mention a loser in clubs, having to play the wretched suit away from my own hand. Am I plonker or what ? Yours forever cocking things up, Harry Huffsnuff
Dear Harry, Yes, you are indeed a plonker....a total and complete prat. For this slam to make you only need one of the missing kings to be right, but entries to dummy of course are limited to two. Your line of play was utterly inept and lacking in foresight. The obvious finesse to take at trick two is THE CLUB FINESSE, which given the lay out of the cards works. Next, you must play the Ace of diamonds, followed by the queen, which of course your LHO will take with the king . His best option will be to persevere with hearts, enabling you to take the marked club finesse. Then, having got back to hand, it becomes a simple task to clear the remaining trump and claim the contract.
Even if the two kings are the other way round, this line of play still offers a better chance of success. The club finesse at trick two would lose if the defender's instinct is to seize the trick at the first opportunity. And once you are back in dummy with the Ace of hearts, now is the time to take the diamond finesse, relying of course that your RHO comes up with either a singleton king, or a king doubleton. Yours always in ascendancy, Rebecca

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