Most players would bid the North-South cards to slam – and you and partner are no exception. Against your slam, West starts with the ♣J. How do you plan to take 12 tricks on this deal?
This deal was played in an intermediate class on finesses.
West’s opening lead was the ♣J; this was won in hand with the ♣Q. After drawing trumps with the ace and king, all but one of the declarers played a diamond to the queen and king. Every East in this situation cashed the ♥A to set the contract.
When asked, the successful declarer said, “If I’d played on diamonds and the finesse had succeeded, I would still have had to guess how to play the heart suit. On the other hand, if I played West for the queen of hearts, as I did by running the ten at trick four, I would always make the contract when that finesse succeeded. As the choice was between the diamond finesse and a later guess in hearts, as opposed to a simple finesse against the queen of hearts, I went for the less-complicated approach of the latter plan.”
The teacher then summed up the lesson as, “When you have a choice of two finesses, try to assess whether taking one of them first allows you to avoid the other one, as here.” The full deal: