Sometimes one has to plan ahead a few tricks in order to
see a problem that isn't obvious at first glance.
Playing IMP pairs over a computer network, this gem popped up.
| AK4 |
| 7 |
West leads the K and continues with the Ace, East
playing low-high. After a little thought, West shifts
to the 3, which I win with the Ace. What now?
I can make ten tricks by either finding the Q or by
ruffing a diamond in dummy. Ruffing a diamond must be better;
are there any drawbacks to this play? Let's see how the play
will progress: cash spades, ruff a spade, ruff a diamond. I'll
be stuck in dummy with no reentry to hand other than ruffing
a club. If clubs are not 3-2, they'll get a club ruff and I'll
go down. How about overtaking the K with the Ace and
trying to draw trumps? If the singleton club is not with the
third trump or if the stiff club is with the Q, I'll
make it. That is a pretty good line, but I see a better one.
I cash two high spades, but on the second one I pitch a club,
not a diamond. Then, spade ruffed, diamond ruffed low,
K. East ruffs; I overruff, ruff a diamond, ruff a club,
and cash the A. When the Queen doesn't fall, I have
ten tricks exactly. It turns out that only this line succeeds
because West had Qx and four clubs, except that I could've guessed
trumps, but those things never work for me.
Copyright © 1994 Jeff Goldsmith