Far-sighted Play

Goren Bridge

Bob Jones

Dlr: South ♠ K 10 7
Vul: E-W 9 4 3
A 9 6
♣ Q J 6 5
♠ J 6 3 2 ♠ Q 8 5
Q 6 10 8 7 2
Q J 7 5 4 3 2 K 10
♣ — ♣ 10 9 8 3
♠ A 9 4
A K J 5
♣ A K 7 4 2
South West North East
1♣ Pass 2♣ Pass
2 Pass 2NT Pass
4♣ Pass 4 Pass
6♣ All Pass

Opening lead: Q

Today’s deal is from a tournament in The Netherlands 15 years ago. The actual auction is not known to us except that West never made a bid. South was Dutch expert Huub Bertens, who relocated to Bend, Oregon, not too long ago. We have supplied a reasonable auction above.

Bertens won the opening diamond lead with dummy’s ace and made the far-sighted play of ruffing a diamond in his hand at trick two. When he next cashed the ♣A, learning about the 4-0 split, he was in a good position to overcome it. He led a low heart from his hand. Say that East won and led a trump. South could win that in dummy and ruff another diamond. Bertens could then cash the ♣K and the A, then cross to dummy with the ♠K. He would draw the last trump, discarding his low spade, and lead a heart toward his king-jack. He would then make his best guess in that suit if the queen hadn’t already appeared.

The queen had long since appeared, as West rose with the queen when Bertens ducked a heart at trick four — not that it would have helped West to play low. Well played!