You may have to rethink your play with this hand

  • Figure 1: May 9, 2002

    Figure 1: May 9, 2002


Bridge results

Bridge results to May 6

Thursday 30 April

N/S

1, Lynanne Bolton ?Peter Donnellan

2, James Leitch ?Donna Leitch

3, Norna Anderson ?Sancia Garrison

E/W

1, Gertie Barker ?Jane Smith

2, George Correia ?Inger Mesna

3, Lisa Ferrari ?Elizabeth Baillie

Friday 1 May

N/S

1, Linda Pollett ?William Pollett

2= Alan Douglas ?Jane Smith

2= Peter Donnellan ?Lynanne Bolton

E/W

1, Heather Woolf ?John Rayner

2, Diana Diel ?Julia Patton

3, Louise Rodger ?Patricia Siddle

1, Rosemary Smith ?Julia Patton

2, Richard Hall ?Tim Mardon

3, Carol Jones ?Kathleen Keane

Monday 4 May

N/S

1= Linda Pollett ?William Pollett

1= Gertie Barker ?Jane Smith

3, John Rayner ?Heather Woolf

E/W

1, Edward Betteto ?Sancia Garrison

2, Francisco Plana Estruch ?Nick Kempe

3, Wendy Gray ?Richard Gray

Tuesday 5 May

N/S

1, Tim Mardon ?Jean Schilling

2, Veronica Boyce ?Carol Eastham

3, Mark Stevens ?Malcolm Moseley

E/W

1, Marion Silver ?Duncan Silver

2, Katyna Rabain ?M Louise Payne

3, Wenda Krupp ?Jane Gregory

Wednesday 6 May

N/S

1, Francisco Plana Estruch ?Nick Kempe

2, Claude Guay ?Sharon Shanahan

3, Heather Woolf ?Lorna Anderson

E/W

1= Richard Hall ?Edward Betteto

1= Gertie Barker ?Jane Smith

3, Lynanne Bolton ?Peter Donnellan

One thing that does not change for bridge players during this lockdown is their love of trumps ?and lots of them.

Newer players particularly like the safety of having a lot of trumps, as it limits the potential damage on a hand.

Quite often though, a hand may play better in a tighter fit, and today抯 hand is a good illustration of a decision that will come up countless times in your bridge life, and it is important to get it right.

You hold J83 AK95 763 762 and partner opens a Spade and right hand opponent passes.

You know partner has five Spades, but supporting Spades with three-card support and no ruffing values is not recommended, so I would bid a waiting 1NT, intending to return to spades at the two level.

Partner now jumps to three Hearts and all of a sudden, your hands looks lovely ?you know partner probably has about 16-18 hcp and at least five Spades and at least four Hearts, so you have to bid game; but in what suit?

Do not be tempted to run to the safety of the Spade suit ?you have probably found the golden 4-4 fit in Hearts and you must bid four Hearts and not four Spades, and you will soon see why.

See Figure 1, for the full hand

As you can see, four Spades goes down one as, with the Heart finesse losing, you have a loser in each suit.

Take a look at four Hearts, however. You can ruff the second Club and take the Heart finesse and even when that loses, you can win any return and play Ace King and give up a Spade ?win any return and then draw trumps, and throw dummy抯 losing Diamond and Club on the spades.

You then make three Heart tricks, four Spades, two Diamonds and a Club ruff ?ten tricks. The 4-4 fit is hugely powerful and you always play in it if you have the opportunity.

For those of you who like double dummy problems, try the above hand on a Diamond lead at trick one and a Diamond return after the Heart loses ?quite a different problem, so you may have to rethink your line of play!

Here is another, more extreme example of the power of the 4-4 fit ?your partner opens a 15-17 NT and you hold S-KQJ654 H- AJ76 D-53C-5.

Do you investigate a Heart fit before committing the hand to be played in the obvious looking Spade suit? You should!

Partner抯 hand and yours:

A3 KQJ6564

KQ105 AJ76

A876 53

K83 5

Six Hearts can抰 be beaten, as either Diamonds or Clubs go away on the long Spades after trumps are drawn.

Six Spades is always down on a Diamond lead and without a Diamond lead, needs the Ace of Clubs to be under the King to create a Diamond discard ?so six Hearts is massively superior.

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Published May 9, 2020 at 8:00 am (Updated May 9, 2020 at 7:50 am)

You may have to rethink your play with this hand

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