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Non Timeo Danaos et Dona Ferentes Compulsus
(Page of 2)

West
North
Q8
A65
AKQ95
K94
East
South
A109753
KJ3
4
J85
W
N
E
S
1
P
1
P
2NT
P
4
P
P
P
D
4 South
NS: 0 EW: 0
10
6
7
J
3
1
0
4
2
A
3
1
2
0
K
6
5
7
1
3
0
Q
10
8
8
1
4
0
Q
2
3
K
0
4
1
Q
A
4
3
2
4
2
6
7

You're playing in session 2 of 2 at the District 8 NAP finals, against the halftime leaders. The play to the first 6.25 tricks is shown in the diagram. If you would have played differently, please consider the actual problem anyway. As Eddie Kantar would say: Up or down, Mr. Brown?

Duck the trick, Mr. Slick.

At the table, declarer thought the spade play was a Greek gift, because he had no entry to take another spade finesse. He went up, concluding that the J must be on his left; how could East have it, unless he was in a generous mood? This reasoning is faulty, though. First note that East must have the A, as otherwise the defense could have easily taken another ruff. Next, who has the missing J? If East had it, surely his defense would have been different: He would have used it an exit card if he had all the trumps, or tried for a promotion if he didn't. If West has it, he must *not* have the J, because this would make him 2=6=4=1, and surely he would have led his club. So the J is onside, and this is no Greek gift, but a ferentes compulsus. East (me, of course, or why tell the story?) has all black cards, and I would have to give dummy trick 8 anyway, so I asked declarer the key question at trick 7, and hoped this would make it harder to work out.

I also had to defend this way in case declarer was 6=4=1=2; then if I tried to cash the A, declarer would be forced to make it: Ruff, A, put me back in with the J to give him the K for a heart pitch. But on a spade play he would have a chance to go wrong.

I never took Latin, so perhaps someone will tell me I butchered the attempt to put the answer in the title.Wink

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