Barnet Shenkin

You can't win imps in the car going home ! by Barnet Shenkin prev/next

How often have you been driving home in the car after a game, and suddenly you realise there was a simple answer to that game or slam you could have made? For me there is usually at least one hand from each game ,in which  I make the right play ,in the car going home . This is a hand from a recent regional teams event, played in Palm Beach.
Here is your problem.
Dlr: S
Vul: NS





 2♣ P

 P 4♠

You receive the lead of the ♦ 8. You run it . East wins the K and returns the 10. The J scores . If the  ♣ Ace is wrong you need the spade finesse to be right. So you cross to dummy with the ♥ K. You run the ♠ Q. West wins the ♠ K. Now she returns a third diamond and East ruffs with the 9.You overruff and play a trump. to dummy. If both defenders follow , you are home. . Unfortunately East pitches the ♣ 7. It looks like you need hearts to split now or the ♥J to fall doubleton.  Do you play hearts now ? . Wait a minute !  West has already 9 cards in diamonds and trumps. She is unlikely to have 3 hearts and a singleton club. Much more likely 2 hearts and two clubs. That gives East 5 clubs and 4 hearts. You must place the  ♣  Ace in the East hand to give yourself a chance. You have played 6 tricks. Draw West's last trump. East must keep only 6 cards and 3 must be hearts . That means she can keep only 3 clubs. Look what happens now. Click NEXT to follow the play.

You see how easy it was to make the hand . All you had to do was count West's and then East's distribution. I would like to say it was a student who went wrong by not counting the hand but I have to own up that it was me . The teacher who gives lessons on how to count a bridge hand ! At least I can say I am an honest broker. I don't hide my own mistakes like many professional bridge players . They never seem to come to the surface. So the moral of the story is Count, Count ,Count some more, as you can't win these imps on the way back home.!