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Bridge Deal of the Week (Nov 24 2006)

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West   North   East   South
pass     1      2♠      pass
pass     3♣     pass     3NT
all pass

You are South in a pair event. East's preempt made life slightly difficult for your partnership, but the final contract is excellent. West chooses to lead his own suit, and leads the 7, which is not a success as dummy's queen wins the trick.

The obvious move now is to tackle hearts, but the best play in the suit is not so obvious. East's preempt makes it more likely that West holds the K. In that case, the obvious play of a heart to the queen will lose at least two tricks. The best play in hearts is a heart to the 7. If it loses to the Jack or Ten, you will follow up by leading the Q. If East has a doubleton Ten or Jack, you will lose only one heart trick. This play is called an intra-finesse. West wins the 7 with the 10, and plays the ♠10, which is ducked to your queen. You play the Q, covered with the King and Ace, but East follows with a low card. You concede a heart, discarding a diamond from hand, West winning the Jack. So much for your thoughtful heart play! West plays the J, you discard a club from dummy and Win the Ace. The contract of course is cold; in fact, you have 10 tricks at this stage. Since this is matchpoints, you try for the 11th trick. You advance the ♣J, West plays low. Do you finesse?

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Bridge Baron deal No: N1191-19340-65035-88712-12710-67750

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