Writers’ weekly 37 | A tricky choice

Strong defenders can put you in difficult positions.

Today you can try to play the boring contract of 3 hearts, the last board of this weeks duplicate at the local bridgeclub.

West led a middle club, east play the ten and you grab the king. A heart to the queen lost to east winning the ace.

Ten of diamonds run to west winning the ace, next comes the eight of diamonds.

What is you plan, try make Your Choice without Reading on?


You have to consider the following possibilities

  • East holding singleton diamond
  • East holding 10 x of diamonds
  • East holding Q 10 of Diamonds

Besides this you also have to count pints, does west hold an opening hand without the queen of diamonds?

If the ten of diamonds is singleton you do not have a chance. East are likely to hold a couple of small trumps, so you can’t run away from him getting a couple of ruffs.

The only chance for winning the contract is therefore that east holds doubleton diamonds.

The question is if he would play the ten both from 10 x and Q 10.

Since we play a strong opponent both are possible. Inn fact it might be more likely that he has turned the ten from Q 10 trying to fool you into a finesse.

If you finesse and this holds you will make 10 tricks discarding a spade on the ace of clubs losing a spade, a diamond and a trump.

If you finesse the jack and east produces the queen you will run into trouble. A spade back to the ace will be followed by a diamond ruffed by east holding you down to 8 tricks.

If you play the king you are sure to make 9 tricks the same way, just loosing an extra spade or diamond.

Based on this analyze you decide to use the king, a good move since the hand looked like this


East did put you on test with the ten of diamonds.

You picked up the safety play and was rewarded with an overtrick when the queen fell. A strong defense and a strong declarer play, well done!