Down Three is Good Bridge?
2. Lead directing?
West led a low heart, ruffed in dummy. What is the best line for declarer?
Declarer's goal is to go down as little as possible. If clubs split 3-2,
declarer loses a spade and two clubs. What if they split 4-1? Declarer
has a chance to endplay whoever holds the stiff, if that stiff is not the
Declarer should immediately lose a spade to West. If West
finds the club continuation, all is lost, but he is unlikely to
find it ; if he holds something like ♣ K-Q-J-6
, he'd have to find the lead of the
to still get
three tricks in the suit, and if he holds the stiff, he will be
hard-pressed to lead into your presumed club strength.
So, assume that West exits a heart. Ruff in dummy, ruff a spade high,
lead a diamond to the ten, ruff another spade high, a diamond
to the jack and ruff another spade high. Now lead a low club from hand
at this position:
If one of the defenders holds a stiff club other than the 6, he will be endplayed, forced
to concede a ruff-and-sluff. And if his partner overtakes the club, declarer
can duck a club continuation and, if clubs were 4-1, the defender on lead again
has to yield either a ruff-and-discard or lead a club from, say,
♣ K-6, while declarer still has ♣ A-5
opposite ♣ 9-8.
This line, protecting against most 4-1 breaks, allows declarer to be down only
3, for -500. This is still not likely to be a great results, as many pairs
will not likely find the heart slam (diamonds are 0-2, with West
holding the ♠ A
, so the slam makes.) Still -500 would
have been worth about 6 IMPs more than -800, against the +480 at the