By Eddie Kantar
Courtesy of KantarBridge.com
Opening lead: ♣ 2. East plays the ♣ A. Plan the play.
You have a spade loser and a possible heart loser; however, your spade loser can be ruffed in dummy! All you need is a 3-2 trump break. Ruff the opening lead, play the ace-king of hearts, and assuming no queen has appeared and the suit divided 3-2, start playing diamonds discarding spades from dummy. Whether an opponent trumps in or not, you can discard four spades from dummy and eventually ruff your ♠Q in dummy.
The full deal:
THE BOTTOM LINE
With high honors in partner’s long suits, bid aggressively.
Finesses in the trump suit can be an optical illusion when a trump is needed in dummy to ruff a loser in dummy’s long suit! Of course this presupposes that you can rid dummy of enough cards in that long suit on your own long side suit.
When partner leads a suit in which you have the AKQ and dummy has length in the suit, play the the ace to the first trick, not the queen. If declarer ruffs, partner will know you have the AKQ. If the ace lives, continue with the queen. If declarer ruffs, partner will know you started with the AKQ. By playing the ace first, you do not give away the strength of your suit. The original play of the queen (which shows the AKQ unless partner has underled the ace!) makes it easier for the declarer to place the other missing honor cards.