Hand #9, Friday Morning, 11/13/2015
A note on the bidding. East could have bid 3nt for his third bid, but was hesitant with ace doubleton. If West held the Qxx of spades, no trump would play better if West was declarer. As it turned out, with West holding J109, it would have played better from the East. With West playing it, there was only one spade stopper. If East played it, there would have been two.
The play: North led a low spade, ducked in dummy. South returned a spade to dummy’s ace. Declarer came to his hand with a club, and took the heart finesse. When it won, he returned to his hand and led a second heart.
There’s a bridge adage that says, “Play the card you’re known to have.” While this also applies to declarer play, it is especially important for a defender.
There are many instances where playing that card will cause a declarer to go wrong, and even if you can’t forsee exactly how it might happen on any given hand, it is still a good rule to follow ( so long as it can’t hurt).
On this hand, Dean Truair, sitting north, made the expert play of the king of hearts, when West led his second heart. He knew from the bidding that West only had two hearts, and he also knew that hearts were splitting 3-3. But by playing the king, he created the illusion that hearts were not breaking well for the declarer. If that was the case, if declarer continued hearts, he was set to lose a heart, three clubs and a spade.
Alas, in this case, declarer had no other options, so he played the third heart, and scored his nine tricks. However, since the hand was played from the “wrong side”, Dean and his partner got a good board anyway.
1) Good bids and good plays often go unrewarded. With ace doubleton in a suit likely to be led by the opponents, it is usually right to let partner be declarer. That didn’t work here.
2) Play the card you’re known to hold. The opportunity to make this play occurs on numerous occasions., even if you don’t know how it might cause the declarer to go wrong on any given hand.
For example, on this hand, if declarer had the ten of diamonds instead of the six, he may have been talked into the diamond finesse, as opposed to playing for hearts to break.