Thursday, 30 June 2011

During a recent tournament Johnny was in a routine 6H, which to his surprise earned him a whole load of the match points. Here is the hand in question : ( North ) AK.....Q9xx.....Axxx.........QJx. Johnny, in the South seat, was looking at : ..... x.....AKJ10xx......QJ9.......Axx
All around the room declarers were bemoaning their fate by taking losing finesses in both diamonds and clubs. But not Johnny.
On a passive spade lead Johnny took the first 4 tricks with 2 top spades and two top trumps. On the king of spades however, he carefully lobbed one of his clubs away.
Then came a low diamond towards his QJ9 in dummy. Mission accomplished....... irrespective of who held the queen of diamonds ! If West had it and took the trick he was well and truly end played in both minors. A diamond return into Johnny's J9 would set up 3 diamond winners ( for another club discard) , and a club return would guarantee two tricks in that suit to see the contract home.
If East held the diamond king, but decided to duck, then clubs could be played out, conceding one loser to the King but the jack would be established for a diamond discard. If East rises with the King of diamonds only to beat thin air, then yet again 3 diamond winners now come into view for that crucial club discard.
Any spade return simply provides an even easier route home with the obvious ruff and sluff .
So in Johnny's book, finesses should never be employed ......especially when there are other superior options available .

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