Do you gamble or bid safely?
By Phillip Alder August 9, 2012 5:26PM
Updated: September 11, 2012 6:03AM
Here’s the rule for bidding a slam on a finesse: Bid it if the finesse is winning, but stop in game if the finesse is losing.
Look at the South hand in today’s diagram. What would be your bidding plan?
Obviously, you could open six no-trump, a contract that even a nonbridge player would make. Or you could start with two clubs and rebid two spades. Perhaps partner will rebid three diamonds, guaranteeing a five-card or longer suit. Then you could shock him by raising to seven diamonds. Or, if partner rebids three hearts and you use Roman Key Card Blackwood, you could find out whether he has the heart queen. But that is unlikely to happen; and even worse, partner might contravene system and pass two spades with a completely worthless hand.
However, if you are going to gamble, open seven spades, not seven no-trump. And assuming you did that, how would you play after West leads a trump and East follows suit?
You have 12 top tricks and must ruff the heart five on the board to eliminate your only loser. But first you must discard a heart from the dummy on the third round of diamonds.
Win the first trick, draw a second round of trumps, cash your diamonds while pitching that heart, take your top hearts, ruff the last heart, play a club to your hand, remove East’s remaining trump, and claim.
Note that you must draw the second round of trumps; otherwise, West ruffs the third heart.