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.






♠KQ10                            ♠A873

54                                  10

K1087                           96543

♣K986                            ♣1052

♠ J64




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.

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