Voyage of Discovery

May 15, 2013

Click Here to download the BBO .lin file for this deal. (The .lin file may be opened in Bridge Base to follow this deal interactively)

Suhas Vaidya, the effervescent vice-president of Maharashtra Bridge Association played this hand in a local tournament. The simplicity of the play is so startling I was stunned to hear about it. Try to play the hand, single dummy :

Suhas was south. West dealt & opened 2H & Suhas reached 4S. West led the D2. East won with A & returned the D9. West ruffed & backed the HQ. Take over from here.


This hand is an excellent specimen of discovery play & counting. You have lost 2 tricks & CA is a certain loser. So how do you avoid losing a trick to SQ? Does West have it doubleton or triple ton?. Or does East have it triple ton?. Should you play for a drop or a finesse?


Suhas found a neat way of finding the SQ. At the 4th trick he played a small S to his K. The Q did not appear. Then he played a small C to dummy’s K, which won. Are you surprised? The CA is marked in the West hand. Remember what East returned while giving West a D ruff? The D9. Had he been holding the CA, he would have backed the D5 to give partner a ruff & had West not been looking at the CA he would have nevertheless backed a C. Now on the assumption that West is holding CA & QJ to 6 H‘s ( It is safe to assume that west would have opened 3H with 7 H‘s & CA along with a singleton D) can you make certain of the contract?


Suhas continued with the CQ. West won & returned a H. Now Suhas counted the hands of the defenders. West had 6 Hs, 1 D & 2 Cs. If he had no more Cs the contract cannot be made because he has 4 Ss to Q ( The Q did not appear from East hand ) So West had to have at least one more C. Therefore Suhas continued with the CJ. Had East ruffed or discarded, he could have claimed the contract as the SQ would come down next, because West is marked with a 2-6-1-4 hand. Had East ruffed, the SQ was coming down, & had he discarded, Suhas could have finessed the SQ.


If East follows to the 3rd C, again you get a complete count of the hand. West is marked with a 3-6-1-3 hand. He has ruffed a D & followed to a S. Ergo the trump Q is again coming down from either hand. Suhas realized at the 3rd trick that there was no danger in cashing a 3rd C.


Since it would have taken more time to explain the intricacies of the play, Suhas did not claim but continued to play on. West had a 3-6-1-3 hand. When Suhas cashed the SK & the Q came down from West hand, he gave Suhas a suspicious look & pushed his chair a foot back.


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posted on May 15, 2013
in Articles, Play
tagged , , ,
about author Ananth Bhagwatanant_bhagwat

Ananth Bhagwat

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