Improve Your Play
A Practice Finesse
By Larry Matheny
Fort Collins, Colorado
Some players take a finesse any time the opportunity presents itself. The strong declarers take only those finesses that are necessary.
South West North East
1♥ Pass 3♥ Pass
4♥ Pass Pass Pass
Opening lead: ♠K
North invited game with a limit raise and good trump support, and South accepted.
West led the ♠K, East encouraged. West continued with the ♠Q and a third spade to East’s ace. East now switched to a low diamond and without much thought, declarer played the ♦Q to end up down one when the finesse lost.
This was not good bridge.
It didn’t matter where the ♦K was located; the contract depended on finding the ♣K in the West hand. When the club finesse succeeded, a repeat finesse would allow declarer to eventually discard his diamond loser on the ♣A.
This was not a difficult hand, and declarer should have understood that the contract depended on the ♣K before playing to trick one. It shows the importance of playing the hand, not the suit.