The HHI Bridge blog is dedicated to a better understanding of the game of bridge. Each mini-lesson (#0001-0016) focuses on one deal, one topic, one explanation (bidding, play of the hand, etc.).
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0016 – The Throw-in Play

Endplays #001 – The endplay cardplay technique in bridge can take many forms, but the process and result are basically the same. Declarer first plays on side suits taking away safe exit cards from the defender's hand and then strategically puts the defender on lead at a point when the defender must make a lead which costs a trick. The endplay typically happens towards the end of the play of the hand (thus an endplay), but can actually happen at any time during the play.

The endplay form on this deal is called a throw-in (tenace throw-in play) where East is forced to lead away from a broken honor holding when put on lead (Trick 7) and has no safe exit without giving up a trick.

On this deal North/South play a conventional defense to 1 NT where a Double is a one-suited hand. South's hand is way too good (14 hcp, 6-losers and rebiddable club suit) to make a preemptive bid of 3 . East/West play systems are on over a Double and so 2  is a transfer to 2 . West's bid, takes North off the hook, and thus, South knows North does not have on-going values. South can fully define this hand by bidding 3 .  Some partnerships might double 3 , but with East's club values of  AQ10 sitting underneath South's values this would be a dangerous double.

The opening lead is the  K, so how should South play this hand? 

So here is the complete deal.

When analyzing the play consider where the trumps are ... East (1 NT opener) is bound to have  AQ(x). South should have three working strategies: 1) finesse East for the  AQx 2) trump in hand with small trump and 3) the winning strategy, safely exit and make East lead away from strength. 

On the opening lead declarer (South) wins the  A in hand and on T2 makes a setup play of the second spade and the elimination of a spade as an exit card from East's hand (from the auction the spades are 5-4-2-2). West has shown up with the  KQJ (6 hcp) and East must have all of the remaining honors on this deal.

On T3 declarer wins the  K in dummy (the only entry to dummy) and takes the club finesse with the  AQ10 showing up in East's hand (West followed with the  2). Declarer takes the final step towards the throw-in with the lead of the  Q. When East wins the  K East has no safe exit, but tries with the  A which declarer ruffs. And now on T7 East is put on lead with the  K (the throw-in) and East can win the  Q, but must eventually lead away from either hearts to the  J in dummy or diamonds to the  J in dummy giving South the 9th trick.

This deal was played as Board 8 Monday night November 3, 2014 / The Common Game (TCG). To obtain a printable PDF file of this deal click " 20141103 0016.

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