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More Declarer Play The Bergen Way

 
 
   
 

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Bergenisms - Index to More Declarer Play the Bergen Way


Chapter 8: YOU Can Execute an Endplay ......................... 87

 

Chapter 9

Timing is Everything

© 2006 - Marty Bergen


Page 99
Timing is Everything

Working Hard For Your Part Score

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

A 7 6
   

West   North   East     South

   --        --       Pass      1

Pass     2      Pass      Pass

Dbl      Pass    3       Pass

Pass    3       All Pass

You tried to stop in 2, but West had other ideas.  North didnít love being pushed to the three level, but with his 9-card heart fit, he followed The LAW of Total Tricks and bid 3 over 3.

West leads the 2. You have a decision to make at the very first trick.

Question 1: What card would you play from dummy?

 

© 2006- Marty Bergen


Page 100
Timing is Everything

Before playing from dummy, first things first. In a suit contract, you should count your losers before playing a card. Unfortunately, the following analysis is the best you can do at this point:

Spades: You must lose one trick.

Hearts (trumps): One or two losers.

Diamonds: You could lose one trick.

Clubs: Unless E-W are in a very charitable mood, there is no way to avoid a club loser.

That wasnít too helpful. You have possible finesses all over the place. On a very good day, you will lose only three tricks. On a very bad day, you could lose five tricks and go down. Oh well, back to trick 1.

Question 1: What card would you play from dummy?

Answer: The normal play with nine cards missing the ace and queen but containing all the intermediates is to finesse Ė hoping that the queen sits in front of the king.  However, sometimes circumstances suggest deviating from the norm.

If West had several trumps headed by the queen, he would definitely not have led the suit. After Westís trump lead, finessing against the queen is pointless because West canít have the Q. Therefore, you should play the K at trick 1. With a little bit of luck, West will have started with A 5 2, and the king will gobble up Eastís singleton queen.

© 2006- Marty Bergen


Page 101
Timing is Everything

East wins with the  A. So much for that. It now appears that your fate will depend on what happens in diamonds.

If East has the Q, it will be easy to win a finesse with the jack. However, you know that East started with the  A, and when West led a trump you already knew that East had the  Q. West didnít need much to balance against 2, but he does need something to take action opposite a passed hand.

{auction and N-S cards repeated for convenience}

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

A 7 6
   

West   North   East     South

   --        --       Pass      1

Pass     2      Pass      Pass

Dbl      Pass    3       Pass

Pass    3       All Pass

© 2006- Marty Bergen


Page 102
Timing is Everything

Speaking of diamonds, here they come. At trick 2, East shifts to the 6.

Question 2: Which card would you play from your hand at trick 2?

Answer: There is no reason to finesse the J now. If East has the Q, you can take the finesse later on. If West has the queen, playing the jack would be fatal. Therefore, the correct card to play here is the 5. (The K is the second choice. The J is incorrect.)

Question 3: If West has the Q and E-W defend correctly, can you make the hand?

Answer: As long as West has the K, everything is under control. After winning the A, lead a spade to your ace. Then lead a low club. On this deal, as you can see, West does have the K. He will win that card, but regardless of what he leads, there is no way for E-W to defeat the contract. 

Youíll always be able to cash dummyís Q to unblock that suit, and get back to your hand to use the A to discard a diamond from dummy. Once you have avoided a diamond loser, your contract is secure.  Your only remaining losers are the Q and J.

If the Q loses to Eastís king, you will have to take the diamond finesse. If that also loses, you will go down.

© 2006- Marty Bergen


Page 103
Timing is Everything

Keep in mind: The best players in the world donít always make their contracts. Their only goal is to give themselves the best chance. If the opponents lead and defend perfectly and the cards donít cooperate, no one could possibly make every contract.

Here is the entire deal:

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

A 7 6
   

West   North   East     South

   --        --       Pass      1

Pass     2      Pass      Pass

Dbl      Pass    3       Pass

Pass    3       All Pass
 

© 2006 - Marty Bergen


Chapter 10: Surviving Bad Splits ..................................... 107


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