Double Dummy 13

What can we learn from Deep Finesse on the following deal?

Board 19 from Tuesday 20/02/24Dealer S EW Vul


Some very interesting questions arising from this deal are:

  • How should the EW bidding proceed after South opens 1S?
  • What is the best contract for EW and how, and why, should declarer play it?
  • When South opens 1S, the inevitable result should be 3NT, after West overcalls 2D, and East freely bids 2H, or West makes an ‘intermediate jump’ to 3D and East bids 3H. So, how does West play the 3NT contract when North leads the seven of spades?
  • Whether you can see all the cards or not, your bridge sense should tell you some pertinent things:

    • South is likely to have the king of diamonds and/or king of hearts. The diamond finesse will almost certainly produce six diamond tricks but the heart finesse will only help if South has a doubleton king and there are entries to the heart suit
    • some Easts could well be in 4H which will probably be easier to play and make
    • You are very short of entries to dummy, in fact there is only one certain entry, in CLUBS. But that means losing the lead, but then again, so does anything else unless you can drop a singleton king of diamonds

    If South has the king of diamonds, an entry to dummy in clubs can be created even though this may allow the defence to establish club tricks, but they can’t set up spades and clubs at the same time. Then, if the diamond finesse succeeds, declarer will have ten certain tricks so the only better scores may be those in 4H making five. So, the best play must surely be to play on clubs and then take your ten tricks and settle for +630 and hope not too many are in 4H making five. Yes, in reality, there were a few pairs in hearts, making five, but surprisingly, also many in 3NT failing to make. It really should not have needed the assistance of Deep Finesse to make 4NT should it?