Hand of the Week

WEEK BEGINNING MONDAY, 1 JUNE 2020

HAND OF THE WEEK

 THE VALUE THE ACE OF TRUMPS WHEN DEFENDING

  BY NICK WOOLVEN

 

With so many hands being played on line now, chances come thick and fast to note down good/bad plays. The following hand was well defended by East/West.

 

Dealer: North

Vulnerability: Love all (nobody is vulnerable)

You are West with the hand below:

North opens the bidding with 1C and South bids 1D so you, not unreasonably, try 1H. After 1S from North, your partner springs to life with a preemptive 3H.  However, South finishes proceedings with a jump to 4S.

 

To recap the bidding:

 

North             East                South             West

 

1C                   Pass               1D                   1H

1S                   3H                   4S                   Pass

Pass               Pass

At the table, North/South were playing strong NT and 5 card majors so North had to have 5+ clubs and 4 spades (or possibly 4144).  Partner duly leads the two of hearts and, as the defender, you can see that even with a minimum 5-4 hand with North, partner cannot have much for their raise to 3H so it will be down to you to beat the contract.  It looks like we have two heart tricks and the ace of trumps but what is the chance of a 4th trick?  If declarer has 6 clubs we can give partner a ruff straight away, get in with a heart, give another club ruff and make the Ace of spades.  The contract will then be 2 down. This puts all our eggs in one basket.

Alternatively, we could hope that partner has Q and another spade (as just about their only points) and then we would get two spade tricks and 2 heart tricks. We could also lead a club, get in with the ace of spades and give partner a club ruff for one down.  In all of these instances, we are assuming that, with an unbalanced hand and 5 hearts, partner would have just raised to 4H.  In other words, declarer must be 4-2-2-5 or 4-2-1-6 (the latter would mean partner has 7 diamonds and be void in clubs). The last alternative is to just exit with a diamond, win the ace of spades and underlead your hearts, hoping that partner has the Jack. They then give you the diamond ruff for one down. This requires partner to have the JH.

What are we going to choose?

You win the first heart and play a club as this looks like the best option.  (You are taking North for having 5 clubs and 4 spades, there are 3 clubs on the table and you have 4 so your partner cannot have many.)  Declarer wins in dummy (partner following) and plays 10S from dummy. (Are they going to finesse?). Do not be fooled, just win the ace of spades and give partner their club ruff. If you duck, declarer will just play another spade and partner’s club ruff has gone.  Even if partner has Q and another spade, this beats the contract. On the actual hand, either leading a club at trick two or leading a diamond works, as partner has the Jack of hearts.

The point of the hand is that if you are defending and have the Ace of trumps you have a lot of control and, if you remember the bidding and try to formulate hands, the obvious line of play will become apparent.

 

“We welcome feedback on this column from members, either about this hand or suggesting another hand to cover in future articles.  Feedback should be sent to Mike Ferguson on mikeferg@virginmedia.com

PDF's of Hands of the Week

 

/TinyFileManager/resources/files/8///hand of the week for 3 feb - analysed by d markham

/TinyFileManager/resources/files/8///hand of the week for 10 feb - analysed by r jepson

/TinyFileManager/resources/files/8///hand of the week for 17 feb - analysed by a hayward

/TinyFileManager/resources/files/8///hand of the week for 24 feb - written by r winter

/TinyFileManager/resources/files/8///hand of the week for 2 march - by nick woolven

/TinyFileManager/resources/files/8///hand of the week for 9 march - analysed by a hayward

/TinyFileManager/resources/files/8///hand of the week for 16 march - analysed by m ferguson

/TinyFileManager/resources/files/8///hand of the week for 23 march - written by t mcniff

/TinyFileManager/resources/files/8///hand of the week for 30 march - analysed by m ferguson

/TinyFileManager/resources/files/8///hand of the week for 6 april - by r jepson

/TinyFileManager/resources/files/8///hand of the week for 13 april- analysed by d markham

/TinyFileManager/resources/files/8///hand of the week for 20 april - analysed by r winter

/TinyFileManager/resources/files/8///hand of the week for 27 april - analysed by r winter

/TinyFileManager/resources/files/8///hand of the week for 4 may - analysed by r jepson

/TinyFileManager/resources/files/8///hand of the week for 11 may - analysed by n woolven

/TinyFileManager/resources/files/8///hand of the week for 18 may - analysed by a hayward

/TinyFileManager/resources/files/8///hand of the week for 25 may - analysed by m ferguson

/TinyFileManager/resources/files/8///hand of the week for 1 june - analysed by n woolven

 

Add content