Friday, 26 November 2010

JOHNNY SUPREMO'S MAGICAL MASTERCLASS.............. Well, never one for resisting comfortable 3NT contracts, I received a rather awkward the queen of clubs lead from West, my LHO.
Dummy came down with what he had promised :, but my hand was a rather big and chunky AJxx.....AK9.....KQJx....A10.
At the table East overtook the queen with the king. I naturally ducked, but was forced to win the club contination. The play of the clubs clearly suggested that East started out with the king doubleton with West holding six to the queen-jack. With only 8 tricks in sight a ninth had to come from spades, but what if the King was off-side? So it made sense to me to run off 4 top diamonds ending in dummy to see what discards the opposition were making. West discarded two clubs while East pitched a spade.
My thinking now went as follows : " West surely cannnot have the king of spades because otherwise he would hold onto all his established clubs, pitching no doubt 2 hearts instead. Indeed, it is very unlikely that West holds the queen of hearts, because if he did then he would be looking to pitch useless spades away. But does his play suggest that he holds both ? The fact remains that West has only got 5 cards in the majors, whereas East has 8. The odds therefore favour East to hold one of the honour cards, and even more likely to hold both. "
So working on this last assumption that East held both major honours, I took the spade discard to also support this view. When a player holds 4 to the king in one major, and 4 to the queen in another, it is usually safer to throw from the suit head by the king ( which is what he did ). At trick 7, I finessed the jack of spades successfully. Then I cashed the Ace of spades, before throwing East in with King. With only hearts left in his hand, I allowed the low heart return to run round to dummy's jack, taking the last 3 tricks with the my AK of hearts and my remaining spade. Plus 460 for a galactic top. Kibitzers were applauding. The opponents just sat there stunned silence.

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