Skip to main content
Longboat Key Wednesday, Sep. 7, 2011 6 years ago

Deal Us In: Be wary of the lure of the finesse

by: Donna Swan

West led his fourth-best diamond, and the declarer lost no time in going set. Declarer won the king of diamonds, cashed the ace of trump and finessed the Jack. West took his queen and continued with a diamond.

Declarer won and tried to ruff a diamond in the dummy. East over-ruffed, and the declarer lost a trick in both black suits. He went down one trick in his contract.

The lure of the finesse was declarer’s downfall. If he had realized he could afford to lose a trump trick and one trick in each black suit, he might have found the winning play. If trump split 3-2, the contract was cold.

After winning the first diamond, declarer should immediately concede a spade to establish the communication between his hand and the dummy. If the defenders continue with a diamond, declarer wins and cashes the ace and king of hearts. Whether the queen drops, declarer abandons trump and reverts to diamonds. Declarer ruffs a diamond, and if a defender over-ruffs, there still is a trump in the dummy to take care of the declarer’s remaining diamond. If no one over-ruffs, declarer returns to his hand to ruff his last diamond in the dummy.

Regardless of what the defenders do, they can get no more than their high trump and two black suit tricks. You need a better reason to take a finesse than simply because there is one available. All finesses are not equal.

Click here to view this week's Deal Us In page.

Related Stories