A Bridge Phantasmagoria

      

 

LOSER ON LOSER

Discarding a loser in one suit or getting rid of two losers at one trick is an underused stratagem that can be employed for a variety of purposes. Our first hand features a double loser-on-loser play for a simple trick development

 

North
S J1094
H KJ10
D 765
C 654

 

West
S AKQ53
H 76
D K84
C K82

 

East
S 8762
H 5
D J1092
C J1097

 

South
S -
H AQ98432
D AQ3
C AQ3

 

 

Bidding:

South

West

North

East

1H

Dbl.

2H

-

4H (end)

 

 

 

South ruffed the ace of spades lead and entering dummy twice in trumps, he finessed in both minors and went one off.

“You seem to have forgotten the double by West,” said North bitterly. “All you had to do was to go twice into dummy in trumps and play spades on which you discard a club and a diamond and you have set up a spade trick for a tenth.”

“Had I not had these minor suit queens I might have thought about it,” replied South as a lame excuse.

This next hand comes from an old Par Contest.

 

North
S J72
H 42
D 876543
C 62

 

West
S 43
H KJ6
D KQJ9
C Q1073

 

East
S 865
H Q108753
D 102
C 98

 

South
S AKQ109
H A9
D A
C AKJ54

 

 

The recommended bidding was:

 

South

North

 

 

2C

2D

 

 

2S

2NT

 

 

3C

3S

 

 

4H

4S

 

 

5S

6S (end)

 

The final Six Spades by North is sixth form stuff.

Winning the diamond lead, South follows with the ace and king of clubs and a club ruff with the jack in dummy. Back to hand with the ace of hearts, South plays a fourth club and makes the loser-on-loser play of discarding a heart from dummy. At a stroke he has established the fifth club and has created a safe heart ruff to bring home the bacon. Very elegant.

The next example comes from a World Olympiad of yesteryear.

 

North
S QJ87532
H J94
D K75
C -

 

West
S 6
H Q632
D Q96
C KJ1042

 

East
S 9
H 75
D AJ102
C A98763

 

South
S AK104
H AK108
D 843
C Q5

 

South is directed to play the hand in Four Spades, and West is directed to lead the jack of clubs.

If declarer ruffs in dummy with visions of 12 tricks if the queen of hearts and the ace of diamonds are both onside, he is dead, as he will lose a heart and three diamonds.

By discarding a heart and not a diamond, declarer gets rid of a heart loser and at the same time, diverts the lead to the non-danger man. East wins the Greek Gift of the ace of clubs and, assuming no diamond return, South wins and draws one round of trumps. Now come the ace and king of hearts and a third heart and declarer does not care who has the queen of hearts. Naturally if West gives the queen, it is ruffed and the fourth heart is good. Should West play small, a diamond is thrown from dummy and even were East to have the queen it would be a second Greek Gift. The contract makes with seven trumps and three hearts.

In this further example the loser-on-loser play was made to forestall an attempted trump promotion.

East-west game; East deals.

 

North
S QJ64
H 73
D K96
C Q853

 

West
S 7
H 84
D 10742
C K107642

 

East
S K10
H AKQ1095
D QJ5
C J9

 

South
S A98532
H J62
D A83
C A

 

 

South overcalled One Heart from East with One Spade and North bid two Hearts to show a good raise. East continued with Three Hearts but South went straight to Four Spades which was passed all round

West led the eight of hearts and East won the ace and the king. With a trump promotion in mind he continued with a small heart forcing West to ruff and if declarer had overruffed defeat would have followed with the loss of a trump and a diamond.

Diagnosing the plot, declarer simply discarded a losing diamond and now a trump finesse and a subsequent diamond ruff fulfilled the contract.

At least at one other table the East plan worked when declarer automatically overruffed

 

      

by Carl Dickel