Thursday, 9 February 2012


Dear Rebecca,
I was in a 3NT contract which needed me to secure 2 heart tricks from this combined holding :
dummy's  K10x opposite my Jxxx. Based on the bidding I took East to have 9 cards in the minors and...... with spades breaking 2-2 .....a likely doubleton in hearts.
Anyway I finessed the 10 losing to East's queen. On regaining the lead I played a low heart up to the King which held, but that meant of course conceding two tricks later with Jx sitting under West's A9.
Could I have done better.
Yours forever getting things wrong, Ima Pratt

Dear Ima,
From your initial description of the auction East was marked with values , which suggests he might well be holding one or both honours in hearts. If this was the case then there is every chance in you making two heart tricks from your combined holding.
Let's presume East started off with a doubleton heart Qx, then running the 10 from dummy first could be your best move.  East is unlikely to cover.... and so West is forced to win the trick with his Ace. Now the automatic play of the King swallows the queen to establish your two heart winners.
If East's doubleton is Ax, then again he is unlikely to cover the 10, which of course loses to the queen. Now is the time to get across to dummy to play a low heart up to the jack. With the Ace forced to beat thin air,  your K/J are still there to make the last two tricks in this suit.
Moreover, If East holds AQ doubleton in hearts, leading twice from dummy away from the king (10 first ) achieves the same happy outcome. 
If you carry on playing out suits without making logical assumptions about the layout of the missing danger cards, then you will forever be living up to your rather unfortunate name.

Yours  ( just how many numpties play this damn game ? ) enquiringly Rood

ps. ....and how come you're not in 4S with a 5-4 fit ?

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