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Longboat Key Wednesday, Mar. 7, 2012 5 years ago

Bridge Bites: One finesse too many

by: Brian Gunnell

It’s great when our finesse works, but against a cunning opponent, when we try that same finesse a second time, we sometimes get an unpleasant surprise.

After that artificial (and strong) 2♣ opening, the rest of the auction was natural. West leads a trump against your slam — how do you propose to make 12 tricks?

It may be too late already, but let’s do this one without peeking at the E-W hands. The opening-trump lead has knocked out your entry to Dummy, and you must use that entry to take one of those red suit finesses. Which one? Surely it must be right to finesse in Hearts because, if that loses to West, you’ll have a Heart entry back to the board for the Diamond finesse.

So, the Q♥ is led from the board, and it holds. Yippee! Now Dummy’s A♣ is cashed (pitching a Diamond), and the winning Heart finesse is repeated. Oops! This time that dastardly West fellow produces the King. Even worse, Declarer now has no way of avoiding a Diamond loser also. Down one! When the first Heart finesse worked, Declarer took his eye off the ball. He must realize that a second Heart finesse is unnecessary. After the Q♥ wins, the 100% safe line is to cash the A♣ (pitching a Heart), ruff a Club high (just in case there is an overruff in the cards), then draw trumps and give up a Diamond.

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Contact Brian Howard, owner/director of the Bridge Center of Bradenton, at 795-8981.

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