Source: IBPA Column Service FEB 2022

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

A K 7 2
7 4 2
K Q 2
A K 5
Q J 10 9 5 3
K 3
8
8 7 4 2
West North East South
2
Pass 2NT1 Pass 32
Pass 4 Pass Pass
Pass
  1. Ogust, asking about suit quality and strength.
  2. Minimum in points and a poor suit in context (defined as not holding 2 of the top 3 honours)

This was another deal from a team game and the contract was the same at both tables, with both North players doing well to avoid three notrump, a contract that fails on a heart lead.

At the first table, West led the J, covered by the king, and won with the ace. East shifted to the queen of hearts, covered by the king and won by West’s ace. West then exited with the six of hearts. East won with the ten and continued with the jack of hearts. Declarer ruffed high and drew trumps with dummy’s ace and king but still had to lose a club for down one.

At the other table, the lead was the same, the jack of diamonds. The difference here was that declarer called for dummy’s two of diamonds.

What could East do?

If he played the ace of diamonds, he saw that declarer would have ten tricks outside the heart suit: six trumps and four tricks in the minors. However, if declarer had started with 6=3=1=3 shape with the king of hearts then playing the ace of diamonds and shifting to a heart was crucial. That’s what East did, but declarer ruffed the third round of hearts, drew trumps ending dummy and threw two clubs on the king and queen of diamonds. South claimed ten tricks: six trumps and four tricks in the minors.

If East had let the jack of diamonds hold, declarer would have ruffed out the ace on the next round of diamonds, then drawn trumps with the queen and ace. After discarding a heart on dummy’s good diamond, declarer would have played the ace, king, and another club. The defenders could then have taken the ace of hearts, but that would have been all. Declarer would have had ten tricks: six trumps, a diamond, two clubs and a club ruff in dummy

The complete deal:

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

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