Good declarers hate to put all of their eggs into one basket, they would rather find a line of play which gives them multiple chances. Here are some hands where declarer does precisely that.
Related Play Problems Play Problem 7
Related Extracts from Past Wednesday Games
It seems that all routes lead to 6NT, and the above auction is one such road.
Against 6NT, South cannot lead the unbid suit, there isnít one, so she makes her safest lead of the ♠Q, won in Dummy. When Dummy goes down Declarer will expect the Clubs to be running, getting him to 11 tricks, with major suit chances for a 12th. First, Declarer tests the Clubs, and gets the bad news there. Now he is back to 10 tricks, and itís hard to see how the contract could make without the Heart finesse. So, at Trick 4, the ♥Q is successfully finessed, and itís back to 11 tricks. To reach 12, Declarer must untangle is tricks carefully: he unblocks the ♦AK, loses a Spade, wins the Heart return, cashes the ♦Q (pitching a Club), and makes his contract when Spades are 3-3. Phew!
Afterthought: Suppose that Clubs had broken 4-2 or 3-3. How would you play the hand then? Youíll need a 3-3 Spade break or a Heart finesse for your 12th trick, and the way to combine both chances is to lose a Spade before cashing the ♠AK and before taking the Heart finesse. That way you can test the Spades safely Ö if they are 3-3 then you are home Ö if they are not then you can try the Heart finesse.
6♠ is a great slam without a Diamond lead. After the non-Diamond lead, Declarer has three chances:
- If the ♣A is with North then Clubs provide a pitch for the Diamond loser.
- If the ♣A is offside, but the ♣J comes down in three rounds, then again the Clubs provide a pitch for the Diamond loser.
- Failing any Club luck, Declarer must resort to the Heart finesse.
As it happens, South probably will lead a Diamond, and now Declarer must rely on the Heart finesse for that pitch. Making 12 tricks!
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