HAPPY NEW YEAR, EVERYONE!
I have made a resolution to make some bridge resolutions. Here they are:
1. When declaring, I will never again play to the first trick in a nanosecond. I will explain to the opps, in an insufferably smug tone, that I always take at least two minutes to plan the play.
2. I will NOT play for six hours a day and then hit Bridge Baron obsessively the minute I get home.
3. I will watch partner’s signals religiously, rather than pick at my chipped nail.
4. I will read more bridge books.
Today’s hand comes from Lukacs’ and Rubens’ Test Your Play as Declarer and neatly covers resolutions 1 and 4.
West led the ♥3 and the key play occurred at trick one. If declarer wins with the ♥K and tries to draw trump, because they split 4–1 he is down. The best he can do is switch to diamonds, but after three rounds, when he plays ♥A, West ruffs and the defence take two clubs and a heart. Playing a spade back to hand is no better. When he discards a heart on the last diamond, and plays a heart to the Ace, West pitches a club and the defence again take two clubs, a spade and a heart.
It’s all so enviably easy if declarer wins the first trick in dummy with the Ace. He continues with two top trumps, three rounds of diamonds, a spade to the Queen, ♦Ace pitching his heart loser, and when he advances the ♥K from hand, West cannot prevent him ruffing his losing heart in dummy. Ten tricks. Happy days.