Writers’ Weekly 3 | Squeeze and endplay saved the day

Even a tournament regular do not find a board where declarer need to squeeze followed by an endplay as everyday happening. The board of week 3 did give declarer the choice of brilliancy or the regular 50 % finesse, what’s your choice?

Let’s look at the hand

The bidding followed natural principles when west showed a strong balanced hand and east asked for minors thru 3 spades. West had a perfect hand when he could read east to hold a weak hand with both minors. The raise to slam would have been most expert’s choice.

Take a deep look, how would you have played the hand on a club lead?

Declarer cleared trumps in 3 rounds then tried a spade to the king. North took the ace but failed to take the second trick in spades when he turned a diamond. Declarer got his second chance and tried the finesse of hearts. That did not work either, the whole hand looked like this

North won the king of hearts and cashed the spade for down 2, not a happy result EW.

Did declarer have an option but to hope for ace of spades or the finesse in hearts?

Absolutely. I’m sure the expert reader already has made the contract.

If you start off by cashing the 10 top-tricks in clubs and diamonds, you will reach this exiting position

When east play the queen of clubs west discard a spade, what about south?

A spade will bring north on lead when declarer play a spade to king and ace, north is endplayed and has to play back from K x into declarer holding AQ of hearts.

To avoid this north instead discard a heart. It doesn’t help much, declarer play a heart to the ace. The king drops and declarer make the contract with the queen of hearts.

You have to be tough to make that play, it feels so much better to follow the 50 % chance of finessing the hearts or a spade to the king. But if you did or considered to do you surely have the highest level of play.