The Aces on Bridge: Monday, February 15, 2010
|♥||A K J 10|
|♦||A 10 8 6 5 3|
|♣||Q 3 2|
|♠||Q 10 8 4 2||♠||K 9 7 6|
|♥||9 8 5 4||♥||6 3 2|
|♦||—||♦||K J 7 4|
|♣||J 9 5||♣||10 4|
|♠||A J 3|
|♦||Q 9 2|
|♣||A K 8 7 6|
“When the proofs, the figures, were ranged in columns before me;
When I was shown the charts and the diagrams, to add, divide, and measure them.”
– Walt Whitman
All the deals this week come from The Yeh Brothers Cup, held last year in Australia.
In the featured match on Vugraph, both tables bid to slam. The deal reduces to an exercise in percentages — though not an especially simple one. The issue is how to play the trump suit for one loser in six diamonds: What three sensible options are available?
The first, selected by both Souths, is to run the diamond queen, planning a second finesse. This loses when East has both honors — and therefore works approximately three-quarters of the time. Can you do better?
I first thought that a better approach might be to start by cashing the ace. This loses either when West began with a void, or when he began with both the king and jack and one or two small cards. This is fractionally better, but it too would fail today.
Best — and also successful today — is to run the eight from the North hand. This loses when West has jack singleton or doubleton so long as East ducks stoically on the first round (don’t we all?) and you misguess. However, you can negotiate the 4-0 split in either hand. Accordingly, there is one losing combination fewer and it is the best play.
Note: If you have a 5-4 fit, as opposed to the 6-3 fit, playing the ace no longer loses to a void in West, but from a psychological perspective, running the eight still looks to be the best play.
LEAD WITH THE ACES
|♠||Q 7 3|
|♥||Q J 5 3|
|♦||Q 4 2|
|♣||7 3 2|
|Pass||3 NT||All Pass|
For details of Bobby Wolff’s autobiography, The Lone Wolff, contact theLoneWolff@bridgeblogging.com. If you would like to contact Bobby Wolff, please leave a comment at this blog. Reproduced with permission of United Feature Syndicate, Inc., Copyright 2009. If you are interested in reprinting The Aces on Bridge column, contact email@example.com.