# Puzzle This

### Detective work

In a team game against a good pair, you feel your card looks good with one deal to go. If you can avoid a big loss on the last board, you have a shot to win. With that in mind, you pick up

♠A Q 7 5 4  4 3 2  A 5   ♣A K J

 WEst North East South Pass Pass 1♠ Pass 2♠ Pass 4♠ All Pass

West leads the J, and this is what you see:

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

East takes his three high hearts and shifts to the J, which you win in dummy with the king. What is your plan? If you call for the ♠J, East will follow with the 2.

View Solution

If you have been paying attention, you will give no thought to letting the ♠J ride.

Do you remember the auction? East, a passed hand, has already shown up with 10 high-card points — the A K Q and the J. If East held the ♠K, that would give him 13 HCP, and he would never have passed in second seat. It is pointless to take a finesse that cannot succeed, so you go up with the ace, and find that this was the full deal:

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

Thinking of the spade suit by itself, the percentage play for five winners is to finesse. In this case, your detective work told you that play was a loser.

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