Writers’ weekly 1 | Finesse or not?

This hand came up during the Christmas Holidays.  Declarer had to take a guess and did what he thought was the best.


EW played inivtational leads and the 2 of hearts was led from west, east took the queen and continued with the king of hearts.

Next came the 3 of clubs, how would you play this hand as declarer?

The declarer did give it a thought. It looked like west had led from a 5-card heartsuit. South had 7 safe tricks and had to look at the spades to make his contract.

The best play to make 3 tricks is to start with the ace followed by a spade to the queen. This kind of play sucseed against a stiff king.

Another momento was to try to keep west off lead. The first round finesse with the queen only sucsess when set holds T9 alone!

South won the club with the ace and contiued with ace and another spade hoping the hand looked like this

East indeed had the king of spades and south was about to claim 9 tricks when east continued with a heart!

South had run into the trap that east had set up for him, the hand looked like this

East could see the defence only had 4 tricks in hearts and that declarer was very likely to make 9 tricks with the finesse in spades. He was willing to give up an overtrick and put declarer on a guess.

And right he was, 1 down brought 12 imps to his team since his teammates bid and made 4 spades.