” He who lives by the finesse will perish by the finesse”

Dealer East N/S Vul

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

With no adverse bidding, South arrived at a 5contract. West opened the two of spade.

South, not one to spurn a finesse, put up the dummy’s queen, East’s king winning. East returned the 10, and now having little choice, declarer finessed again, losing to West’s king. Since no one has as yet invented a way to avoid the loss of a trick to an adversely held ace of trumps, South went down a trick.

Let’s you and I play this hand together. West opens the two of spades. We take inventory: we have a potential loser in spades, we have no losers in hearts, since two of dummy’s hearts can be discarded on two of our high diamonds after trumps are drawn (our heart ace will take care of dummy’s queen, after which we can ruff out our jack o hearts); we have no losers in diamonds, and a trump trick will be lost to the defenders ace. just two losers in all we have.

So we win the opening lead with the A and lead trump. East will take his ace on the first or second lead of trumps. He them returns a heart, which we win with our ace. Making sure that the opponents trumps have all been removed from circulation, we them play a diamond to the board’s ace, after which we overtake the queen with our king. Now come the jack and the ten of diamonds, upon which we discard dummy’s two and five of hearts.

Next we trump out the J, graciously concede a spade trick to the outstanding K and chalk up the score for a game bid and made.