Playing Intermediates #004 – This deal initially looks a lot like the playing intermediates deal 0001 – Find the Jack where declarer needs to find the ♠ J and the ♠ A will take care of itself. But, listening to the bidding places the ♠ A and logic says don't finesse for the ♠ J.
This deal (rotated) was played by Dave McClintock with Marvin Shatz August 12, 2014 / Okatie Creek DBC.
♠ is a reasonable contract. West's 2 ♦ overcall vulnerable (VUL) should show opening values (12-15 hcp) and a good suit - one West wants lead, if partner is on opening lead.
♥ A and when East encourages with the ♥ 8, continues with the ♥ K and then the ♥ 10.
When dummy is faced holding the ♦ Q9, the first question should be what kind of diamond suit does West have to overcall 2 ♦? Missing the ♦ KQJ97 of diamonds the best suit West could hold would be ♦ A10865, not the best diamond holding, so West probably holds 6-diamonds. West also shows up with ♥ AK10. Without the ♥ Q, West must hold the ♠ A to have the values to make a 2-level overcall vulnerable. So, West should hold something like:
With so much information now available, how should Dave (South) play this hand?
So here is the complete deal.
In fact, West's hand just may be the ♠ J away from doubling first and then bidding diamonds with 16-18 hcp.
When Dave ruffs the third round of hearts in hand he analyzes the hand and counts his winners of 3 spades + 2 diamonds + 3 clubs = 8 tricks. So, if Dave can win 4 spades – limit spades to one loser – he can make 3 ♠ for an overtrick.
So how does Dave play the spades? West must have the ♠ A so first lead up to the ♠ K, now what? So if spades are split 3-2 (53.3%) and if West has 9-red cards, West likely has shortness in spades (♠ Ax), so therefore, Dave leads the ♠ 6 back planning to duck to West's ♠ A. Fortunately, the ♠ J now pops which Dave covers with the ♠ Q limiting spades to one loser.
Often, very often, the right play produces the right result even if it is not exactly the planned the lie of the cards.
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