Writers’ weekly 3 | Solve this combination

You can achieve alot by being a good student in bridge. It is a lot about calculating the odds and follow the line giving you the best chance to succeed.

Today you have to work with this holding

North: E 8

South: D 9 7 6 3 2

You can afford to give away 2 tricks in this suit, what is the correct play?

I figure there is 3 possible solutions:

  1. Start with the ace, then play the 8 to the queen. This is the variation you would choose if the goal was to keep your losses to 1 trick, but is it the best line when you can afford to give away 2 tricks?
  2. The next alternative would be to play a small form south, if west play low north play the eight. It gives away a trick a few times, but gains when west hold K J T x, it is a bad play when east hold singleton J or T.
  3. The third alternative would be to start off playing the queen for south. It seems a bit crazy, but it takes care of the singleton J or T in east and do also handle the K J T x at west.

It is best to ask the calculator to find the correct answer when looking into such combinations. So we have had a look, and this is what we found

The Table tells us to play the ace followed by the eight to the queen. It gives you an edge compared to the alternatives. In the long run that just might be the difference between you winning or just stay among the regular players.