DECLARER PLAY PROBLEM #10

Rubber bridge
East dealer
Neither side vulnerable

 NORTH ♠ K 5 4 ♥ 8 7 ♦ K 10 8 6 ♣ K 7 6 5 SOUTH ♠ A Q J 3 ♥ A K J 10 9 4 ♦ — ♣ 4 3 2
SOUTHWESTNORTHEAST
Pass
1 Pass1 NTPass
3 Pass4 Pass
PassPass

West leads the queen of clubs, which holds, then the jack of clubs, which also holds, and the ten of clubs: king, ace, small. East switches to the queen of diamonds.

Plan the play.

### Solution

 NORTH ♠ K 5 4 ♥ 8 7 ♦ K 10 8 6 ♣ K 7 6 5 WEST ♠ 9 8 7 2 ♥ 2 ♦ A 9 5 3 2 ♣ Q J 10 EAST ♠ 10 6 ♥ Q 6 5 3 ♦ Q J 7 4 ♣ A 9 8 SOUTH ♠ A Q J 3 ♥ A K J 10 9 4 ♦ — ♣ 4 3 2

PLAY THE ODDS. With five trumps to the queen missing and only two trumps in the dummy, taking two finesses against the queen is a better percentage play than first cashing one high trump and taking only one finesse. If the missing hearts divide four-one, there is a much better chance of finding South with a singleton six, five, three or two, than with specifically a singleton queen. (The third possibility, cashing the ace and king in the hope that the queen is singleton or doubleton, is also an inferior play; "eight ever, nine never.")

To prepare for the possibility of repeating the trump finesse, South must trump the queen of diamonds lead with the jack, ten or nine of hearts. With only one entry to dummy, he must be able to retain the lead in dummy after the first heart finesse (by playing his four under the seven or eight), so he will retain the lead in dummy, to take the finesse again.

(Based on a deal and analysis from the 1963 National Industrial Recreation Association Par-Hand Bridge Tournament by William S. Root and Lawrence Rosler.)

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