Source: Play Safe & Win 

Dealer South. All VUL

9 6 2
K 6 5 3

A K Q 10 5 3
A K 4
A J 10 9
J 6 3 2
J 4

 

“In a suit contract safety play is complicated by the need to avoid losing control of the trumps. If control is lost it may be hard or even impossible to make proper use of one’s strength in the side suits.” Here is a classic example of what it is all about.”

South arrives at a contract of 6and West leads theK.

Whats are your plan of play?

There are eight tricks in the black suits and it is just a matter of clearing the trumps. You ruff the opening lead in dummy and play a small heart for a finesse of the jack. If the finesse loses you can cope with any return, drawing trumps and running the clubs to make your twelve tricks.

What if the heart finesse wins?

It appears to be a simple matter of crossing to the king of hearts, taking a further finesse against East if necessary, and drawing trumps to claim your small slam with an overtrick.

But it does not pay to trust your opponents any further than you have do. Be prepared at all times to find a smake in the long grass. The snake in question is velealed by a look at the complete deal:

9 6 2
K 6 5 3

A K Q 10 5 3
Q 8 3
Q 8 7 2
K Q 10 7
7 2
J 10 7 5
4
A 9 8 5 4
9 8 6
A K 4
A J 10 9
J 6 3 2
J 4

West was quick-witted enough to hold up his queen of hearts. If you fall for the temptation of going back to dummy with the king of hearts, he will have succeeded in his wicked purpose. Control of the trumps will pass to West and you will be unable to make use of dummy’s clubs. West will ruff the third club and reutrn his memaining trump, leaving you with far too many losers.

West will derive neither pleasure not profit from his deception if you are suspicious enough to foresee the possibility. The counter is a perfect safety play. After the successful heart finesse against East, you should now finesse aginst West, playing the ten of hearts and letting run if West play low. At all costs you must smoke out the queen of hearts so that you retain control of the trumps. If East scores an unnecessary trick with the heart queen, he is welcome to it, for the rest of the tricks are yours. The king of hearts in dummy can take care of diamond return, and there is nothing the defenders can do.

 Don’t forget to follow us @