Archive for Oldie

A Bridge Question

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on April 3, 2016 by telescoper

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Catching up on all the important journals after a short holiday I found the above deal in the Bridge column of The Oldie.

I’m not sure I would have the courage to bid to 7NT as South – 7♦ seems a more likely contract – but in the game described that’s what happened.

West led the 8♦, which in my view plays directly into South’s hands. Declarer already has 12 tricks guaranteed, and the 13th needed for a Grand Slam comes easily if West holds the Q♣, which is indeed the case. However, South didn’t even need the club finesse to succeed in taking all 13 because East discarded two clubs as South played off the obvious Diamond and Spade winners, so the Queen fell to either the A♣ or the K♣ on a club lead.

My question, though, as a mediocre player, is why did West lead a diamond?  South had opened with 1♦, and North had jumped to 3♦  before South’s slam try with 4NT (Blackwood). Against 7♦ West’s would have been a standard defensive lead of a trump, but in No Trumps surely it is better here to follow convention and lead the 4th highest of the longest suit, ie the 8♥? South would then have to play the Ace from dummy, which at least destroys one line of communication as the A♦ can no longer provide an entry to dummy.

I think Declarer still makes the contract but my question is, against this lead, does South have to try the club finesse?