Opening Lead: Jack of hearts
The column last week was about the recent sectional bridge tournament held in the Tri-Cities. There were two errors. One was in reporting that the solution required a squeeze and the other was about future Friday games. One of the more interesting hands of the tournament was shown. The hand was dealt by a computer and analyzed by a program called “Deep Finesse.” I knew from the analysis that it would make 4H with perfect play and perfect defense. I tried over and over to make it with a squeeze, but no squeeze works.
The Bidding: The “Law of Total Tricks” (bid to the level of the number of trumps in both hands. Ten trumps, bid to the four level, ten tricks) says that N/S should bid to the three level and E/W should bid to the two level, which is what happened.
The Puzzle: Look at all four hands and try to figure out how to take ten tricks with perfect defense and perfect declarer play? Hint: Perfect defense is to never lead a spade or diamond, and perfect declarer play requires that the tenth trick comes from the diamond suit.
The Solution: The diamond suit provides the tenth trick, but entrees to dummy are crucial. The defense must begin with a club or a trump or the tenth trick is presented to declarer. As soon as possible, cash the ace if diamonds and lead a second diamond towards dummy. If West wins the king, go to dummy and take a ruffing finesse in diamonds for the tenth trick. If West ducks, establish a diamond winner by continuing the suit and ruffing out the king.
Bridge Futures: The Richland Duplicate Bridge Club (RDBC) has a game at the Richland Community Center at 5:30 p.m. on Mondays. RDBC also plays on the first, third, and fifth Friday at 12:30 p.m. at the Old Country Buffet, 6821 W. Canal Dr., Kennewick, WA. Call Tom Edwards at 946-1824 for details.