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Declarer Play The Bergen Way

 
 
   
 

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Chapter 2 :Count Your Way to the Top .......................... 19


Chapter 3

Finesses: Not Always Obvious

© 2004 - Marty Bergen


 

Page 33
Finesses: Not Always Obvious

Getting There is Half the Fun

Contract: 3N

Lead: J

  North
A
7 6 4
Q J 10 8 6 5 4
A 10
   
     

 

   
    South (You)
Q 6 5 4 3
K J 9
A
K Q 7 2
   


West   North   East     South

  ---      1      Pass     1

Pass     2      Pass     3NT

All Pass

With a strong hand and weak spades, you didnít look for a 5-3 spade fit, but instead jumped to 3NT.

You would have liked to develop diamonds, but Westís spade lead knocked out a crucial entry to dummy. Unfortunately, without the diamonds, you have no chance to make nine tricks. You desperately need to find an entry to the board in addition to the A.

Question 1: Is there any hope of a second entry?

Question 2: After you lead a diamond to your ace at trick two, what is your plan?

© 2004 - Marty Bergen


Page 34
Finesses: Not Always Obvious

Question 1: Is there any hope of a second entry?

Answer: Yes, dummyís 10 provides a 50% chance of giving you the additional entry that you must have.

Question 2: After you lead a diamond to your ace at trick two, what is your plan?

Answer: Lead a club, finesse dummyís 10 and say your favorite prayer. If West has the J, dummyís 10 will provide the crucial second entry to the board. Youíll then drive out the K and await developments.

Of course, even if the club finesse wins, youíre not out of the woods yet. Although the A remains as an entry to dummyís diamonds, you have no idea what will happen in the majors. Depending on the location of the defendersí honors in diamonds, hearts, and spades, you could end up with as many as ten tricks, or as few as seven or eight.

Postscript:

On the actual hand, good news was followed by more good news.

First: and foremost, the 10 won. Yes!!

Second: When you then led dummyís Q, you were pleased when West won the K. You certainly were not looking forward to Eastís leading through your fragile major suits.

© 2004 - Marty Bergen


Page 35
Finesses: Not Always Obvious

Third: Because East would never get the lead, the contract was not in jeopardy. What happened next? West defended well by exiting with a club. When you eventually came off dummy with a heart, West took the last three tricks with the AQ and the K. But with 6 diamond tricks, 2 clubs and 1 spade, you were delighted to score up your game.

Here is the entire deal:

Contract: 3NT
Lead:
J
   North
A
7 6 4
Q J 10 8 6 5 4
A 4
     West
K J 10 9 7
A Q
K 3 2
J 6 4
     East
8 2
10 8 5 3 2
9 7

9 8 5 3
 
       South
Q 6 5 4 3
K J 9
A

K Q 7 2
   

West   North   East     South

  ---      1      Pass     1

Pass     2      Pass     3NT

All Pass

© 2004- Marty Bergen


Chapter 4 :To Finesse or Not to Finesse? ...................... 43


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