Source: The Evening Independent – 23 Jul 1936
After a beginner at bridge learns the rank of the cards, the second thing usually taught about play is the finesse, which is the method of winning an extra trick in a suit if an adversely held honor is favorably situated. When a player has mastered all there is to know about finessing, he then finds out that one of the most important things about such strategy is to learn when to try it and when to leave it alone.
Today’s hand was played by the late Louis H. Watson. This hand is one in which that master player was the only one who made his three no trump contract by refusing to try a finesse which others took.
After winning the first trick with the club king, West, of course, had to shift, as Watson was marked with both ace and jack of clubs, he decided to try the diamond suit, but South won and led a heart. East won with the ace end returned a club.
Watson won with the ace, as he needed the jack of clubs for a very important purpose, that of placing the lead when the time came. He then cashed three heart tricks and two diamond tricks, winning, the last trick in his own hand.
Now, instead of taking the spade finesse, he played the club jack. West won with the queen and cashed the ten, but now he was forced to lead a spade, thereby giving declarer his contract.