X-Clubs Play 19

Board 1 could have got you off to a good start if you were North or South and knew your odds as declarer in a fairly prosaic 3NT. It seems that only Deep Finesse knows the odds but then, it can see all the hands. A reasonably competent declarer does not need to see all the hands to see the possibilities, at least in this deal. However, not one declarer at our club session made twelve tricks in No Trumps, and only a few did across the whole of X-Clubs, some helped by atrocious opening leads.

Board 1 from Thursday 2/06/2022
Dealer North Nil Vul


Most NS pairs across all of X-Clubs were in 3NT, some played by North and some South. Some Norths were handed twelve tricks on a platter when East led a low spade, and some Souths also had it easy when West led a low diamond. Anyone for lessons on opening leads?

But most Norths received the queen of spades lead, and the Souths either a heart or queen of diamonds. A few NS pairs were in 6NT but only one made, the rest failing. And of the ones in 3NT who received a heart lead from West or queen of spades from East, only a couple managed the twelve tricks that our friend “Deep Finesse” says can be made. In fact, as long as declarer plays the ‘percentages’, declarer will come to twelve easy tricks. The clubs suit, being declarer’s long suit, is clearly the one to play on for the most tricks. To finesse to the queen on the first round is a 50% shot for a start, with no guarantee that even if the queen holds, the suit will produce four tricks. However to finesse to the TEN is the same percentage chance that East has the JACK, which will almost certainly produce four tricks with a further finesse when the ten loses to the king. Not to mention when East has KJx which produces five club tricks. If the first finesse does lose to West’s jack, the odds are that a second finesse will win, so a combined 75% chance of four club tricks. On this deal, twelve easy tricks for Deep Finesse and also twelve easy tricks for a competent declarer.