Bridge: Seek to Combine Two Chances

Once they have identified a reasonable line to play, they go straight ahead without pausing to look more deeply into a hand.Our present Tip recommends that you Seek to combine two chances.Would you have seen a second chance on this deal? West leads a trump against your contract of 6 of heart.How will you play? It seemed to the original declarer that everything would depend on finding West with the .A. He won the trump lead with the king and drew trumps in one more round.

He then crossed his fingers and played a spade to the king. Finger-crossing proved an inadequate technique. East won with the .A and cashed a second spade trick to put the slam one down.

Declarer failed to spot a small extra chance in the diamond suit.

If a defender happened to hold K-Q-x or K-Q doubleton, it would be possible to set up dummy’s square of J for a spade discard.

To take advantage of such a lie of the cards, you need to preserve dummy’s heart King as an entry. You should win the trump lead in the South hand, cross to the OA and ruff a diamond low.

You then cross to the 9K and ruff another diamond. When the cards lie as in the diagram, the extra chance materializes. The king and queen fall from the East hand, as if by magic, and dummy’s j of square is good.

Because you made effective use of the heart K as an entry, trifles 4 still remains as an entry to dummy. After crossing to the club ace you throw a spade loser on the square J and claim the contract. “J would have led a spade from your hand,” East will tell his partner.

The possibility of ruffling down the king and queen of diamonds was an additional chance. If nothing came of it, as would usually happen, you could still lead towards the pic K, taking your solid 50% chance there.

On the next deal you must discover whether your main chance will work, in order to play for the second chance . You win the trump lead against 6\7 and playa club to the king and ace.

Back comes a trump. How will you continue? If spades break 4-3, one ruff will suffice to establish the suit. Suppose you win the second trump, cash the pic A and ruff a spade.

Since you are hoping for a 4-3 spade break, you discard the square J on the trifle Q. You then return to your hand with the OA and draw the outstanding trump.

Disappointment is in store. When you test the spades, they break 5-2 and you go one down. What went wrong? There was only one entry to dummy – a spade ruff – and when you reached dummy you needed to know if the spades were breaking. So, the best play was to cash two rounds of spades before taking a spade ruff.

When the 5-2 break came to light, you could then discard a spade on the trifle Q and take the diamond finesse for the contract.

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