Jeff Lehman

Aces are Not Meant for Kings

N
West (me)
AJ5
A8532
AJ74
7
 
10
E
South (dumm
9743
K
KQ1085
AK4

 

 

After an auction of 1 by South in third chair, 1 overcall by me as West, and 1NT by North, all passed at today’s club duplicate, Board 17.

(Disregard the automatic table positions of the diagram.  The hand with five diamonds is in South position and is the dummy.  The hand with four diamonds is in West position.)

Partner led the T.  Declarer called for dummy’s king, of course.

Do you have a memory about a mistake you made in bridge, a mistake so costly that you feel that the lesson was learned well enough that you are unlikely to ever repeat the mistake?

I probably should own a boatload of such lessons.  But one that did resonate happened on the getaway day Swiss at a NABC a long time ago.  I remember declarer in a 3NT contract attacking a suit where dummy’s holding was a stiff king.  Thinking no more deeply than what better present for my ace can there be than to capture a king, I won the ace right away.  That play subjected my poor partner to a progressive squeeze and on a hand where we should have scored -600 — had I only ducked the king and forced declarer to use an entry to his hand to continue the suit — we scored -690.

Well, this time I knew to duck the K.  And declarer now played the K from dummy.  This king, too, I ducked, so as to retain an AJ tenace position over the Q.

Declarer shrugged his shoulders and finally continued A and K.  I pitched a heart on the second club. Declarer now played a third club toward his hand.  Feeling in danger of being endplayed, I discarded my J.  Declarer played the 8 from his hand, partner winning the 9.  Partner returned the J and I discarded a diamond as declarer won the Q.  Declarer chose now to finesse in diamonds (a spade exit should work the same.)  I won the J, cashed the A and exited my preserved small spade to partner’s T.  Partner cashed a long club and the K.  At this point declarer has won the two red kings and three clubs, while our side has won two clubs, three spades and the J.  With two tricks remaining, partner leads a heart and I claim my two red aces for down two tricks.

 
17
None
North
N
North (decl
Q82
QJ64
93
Q862
 
W
West (me)
AJ5
A8532
AJ74
7
10
E
East (pard)
K106
1097
62
J10953
 
S
South (dumm
9743
K
KQ1085
AK4
 

 

 


1 Comment

PhasmidAugust 6th, 2015 at 4:06 am

Nicely defended! I always worry if I duck too many times that I’ll get squeezed out of some of my winners (or potential winners). But you were fortunate here to have plenty losers to spare!

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