Seven Notrump

In which some people who play bridge blog about it.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Playing right into my hands

I don't have anything terribly profound to say about this fun hand that I played last night -- just wanted to get it written down before I forgot the details.

Contract: 3 NT 
Lead: ♦ 9
♠ 8 7 5 2
♥ 8 7 4
♦ A J 4
♣ K 8 4
♠ A Q 10 3
♥ A K 9 5
♦ 7
♣ A J 9 3

I had to make three finesses, in three different suits, in order to make my 3NT contract off the top. I was afraid to lose any tricks early, lest the opponents run their long diamonds. So I played the jack on the nine of diamonds, which held the trick, led a spade toward my hand and finessed the queen, and crossed to the king of clubs in preparation for my last finesse. At that point I had to cash the ace of diamonds, my only stopper in that suit, since that would be my last opportunity to play from the board. (Emily, that's what I was nervous about -- giving up the ace meant that, if the club finesse lost, the opponents would gain control and win all those diamond tricks. I was trying to explain that to you discreetly, without letting the opponents know I had so few diamonds in my hand.) Then I led a club toward the jack for the last finesse.

And it worked! What are the odds of that? (Let's see ... each finesse has a 50 percent chance of success, so three finesses in sequence is 12.5 percent likely to succeed?) I could have cashed the club ace and king, hoping a doubleton queen would fall, but odds there were slimmer, I figured.


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