Friday, January 27, 2012

Plan the defense

Against a contract of 3H, partner leads the 7 of hearts and you win with the Ace. Plan the defense:
At the table, I woodenly returned a heart and 3H could not be beaten.  Can you do better?

Think about it.  Partner's lead, and his spade bid tells you that partner probably has 4 spades and 3 hearts.  So, declarer must have 2 spades and 4 hearts.  Partner probably has the Ace of spades (he didn't lead it) and declarer can make this inference too. Thus, declarer has only one loser in spades.  Partner can not have both KQ of diamonds (he didn't lead them) and so his diamond honor is finessable. It might even drop doubleton. Where are partner's points then? He must have a club honor. Unless you switch to a club now, declarer makes his contract, losing one spade, one heart and only two clubs (discards a club on the fourth diamond).  This was the full hand:

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