Source: IBPA Column Service Jun 2021

Tim Bourke
Tim Bourke

**Source: wikipedia: Tim Bourke “is an Australian bridge player and writer. His joint project with Justin Corfield “the Art of Declarer Play” won the International Bridge Press Book of the Year award in 2014.

IMPs Dealer South. Both Vul

6 5 4
K Q J 9
A K J
K 6 3
A K 10
A 8 7 4 2
9 5
J 7 2
West North East South
1
Pass 2NT1 Pass 42
Pass Pass Pass
  1. GF raise in hearts
  2. Minimum, no side-suit shortage.

The opening lead at both tables in a team match was a trump. After counting winners, the first declarer decided to give himself the maximum chance of making an overtrick. He took the first trick in dummy with the king of hearts, then cashed the queen of trumps before crossing to hand with a trump to the ace and leading a low club to dummy’s king and East’s ace. East exited with a club and declarer’s jack was taken by West’s queen. After cashing the ten of clubs, West got off play with a diamond. When the jack of diamonds lost to East’s queen, declarer was a trick short of his contract.

At the other table, declarer played with metronomic efficiency and speed. After drawing three rounds of trumps with dummy’s tops, declarer cashed the ace king of diamonds and then ruffed the jack of diamonds. Next he played the ace, king and another spade. West took this with the queen and exited with the eight of clubs. Declarer simply played low to ensure that he’d make a club trick no matter how the suit lay. Declarer took five trumps, two spades, two diamonds and a club.

The difference in the two plans was that, after East had followed to the first round of trumps, the second declarer’s approach guaranteed the contract no matter how the opposing cards were distributed, while giving up on the overtrick. This was clearly the correct strategy at teams play, and even at pairs looks to be a sensible line.

The complete deal:

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

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