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No Faith in Finesse

Hand of the Week

Dlr:
East
Vul:
Both
North
♠ K J 5 4
K J 7 2
K 6
♣ J 10 8
South
♠ A
A 5 3
A Q 10 9 5 2
♣ A K 7
West North East South
Pass 2♣
Pass 2 Pass 3
Pass 4 Pass 4NT
Pass 5♣ Pass 5NT
Pass 6♣ Pass 6
Pass 7 Pass 7NT
All Pass

Filiz Uygan of Turkey had more than one possible line of play to land her 7NT contract on this deal from the World Bridge Olympiad in Istanbul, Turkey. Fortunately for her team, she did not select on option that involved finessing.

North’s response to 5NT indicated possession of the ♣K or the major-suit kings, and since Uygan was looking at the ♣K, she knew it was the other two. With 12 top tricks, Uygan had finessing possibilities in hearts and clubs, but who wants to make a grand slam on a finesse? It’s much more elegant to play as Uygan did.

West started with a low spade, which went to the 9 and ace. Uygan played a diamond to the king and a second to the ace. On the Q, she pitched a heart from dummy as East discarded a club. On the fourth round of diamonds, West discarded a club, dummy a spade and East a second club.

Uygan then cashed the top clubs, getting a heart discard from East. Now the last two diamonds were played, and Uygan pitched the ♣J and J from dummy. East, down to two spades and three hearts with a discard to make, was finished – squeezed in the majors. It was a well-earned plus 2220 and a 20-IMP gain since North-South bid to 7, down one, at the other table.

Can you see the only lead to defeat 7NT? Yep, it’s a heart, which ruins the communication necessary for the squeeze.

The full deal:

Dlr:
Vul:
North
♠ K J 5 4
K J 7 2
K 6
♣ J 10 8
West
♠ 10 8 7 6
10 4
8 4 3
♣ Q 5 4 2
East
♠ Q 9 3 2
Q 9 8 6
J 7
♣ 9 6 3
South
♠ A
A 5 3
A Q 10 9 5 2
♣ A K 7