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Declarer Play The Bergen Way


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


Chapter 5

YOU Can Execute an Endplay

© 2004 - Marty Bergen

Page 55
YOU Can Execute an Endplay

Avoiding a Misguess

If you don’t like finesses that lose, an endplay can be invaluable. Suppose you have this side suit:


K 10 6


A J 4

If either defender leads this suit, you’d be delighted. Regardless of which opponent held the queen, you would be assured of winning all three tricks based on the very sound principle "last is best."

However, without a favorable lead, you must tackle this suit yourself and try to guess who has the queen. On some hands, there are clues available from the bidding or earlier play. But, on many other hands, it’s just a blind guess.

If the stars are not aligned or your ESP is out of sync, sometimes your finesse will lose, and you won’t make your contract. This is especially frustrating because someone (either friend or foe) will be sure to point out that you could have made the hand, if you’d only "gone the other way." Yuck. That’s no fun.

There must be a better way. Endplays – here we go.


© 2004 - Marty Bergen

Page 56
YOU Can Execute an Endplay

Contract: 4
K 10 6
K Q 8 5
A 9
6 5 4 3


A J 4
A J 7 4 3 2
Q 3

J 2

East wins the club lead and continues clubs.  You carefully ruff the third round with the J, but West follows with a club. Before reading on, how do you like your chances? If you are confident, would you be willing to bet $10 against a doughnut?

Even if you’re not a hungry gambler, you can afford to make this bet. You have a sure thing. Draw trumps ending on the board, then ruff dummy’s last club to eliminate that suit.

At this point, the stage is set. Lead the 3 to the ace, and throw E-W in with your inevitable diamond loser.  The defender who wins the K will be endplayed.  If he leads another diamond, you’ll ruff in one hand and sluff a spade from the other. If, as is likely, he leads a spade, your spade problems are over. Who’s got the queen? It doesn’t matter – you’re home free.

© 2004- Marty Bergen

Chapter 6 :Tricks of the Trade ........................................ 63

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