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Longboat Key Wednesday, Sep. 16, 2009 8 years ago

Deal us in: Find a better line of play

by: Donna Swan

Depending on which direction you are playing on this hand, there could be a top for East-West or a top for North-South. As we all know, if no one makes an error or a bad decision, tops are not possible.

The East-West pair that received a top result was not because of its play but the way the declarer attacked the contract. West led his fourth-best spade. The declarer did not like his chances. In addition to the ace and king of trump, he was looking at sure losers in spades and clubs.

The declarer elected to try an unusual approach. He won the ace of spades, crossed to the ace of diamonds and tried to get the defenders to crash their trump honors by leading the queen of hearts from the dummy. But
East played low, and West won the ace and took his spade trick, and the defenders could not be stopped from taking two more tricks, which set the contract one trick.

The North-South pair that received a top result got the same opening lead, and the declarer was faced with the same problem as the above declarer. He was tempted to also try the same approach, but he discovered a better line of play. It made no difference which defender ruffed. If West trumped, he would be using a high trump. If East ruffed, he would be left with a singleton trump, and the ace and king would crash on the first trump lead. No matter what the defense did, they could only make three tricks.

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