7 Hearts With the Gendlers

Playing Social Bridge With Helen and Paul Gendler
Saturday, October 18, 2008

Helen and I bid to 7 hearts with silent opponents,
   North (Helen)       South (Rick)
   =============       ============
     1 Diamond          1 Heart
     3 Hearts           4 No Trump
     5 Diamonds         5 No Trump
     6 Hearts           7 Hearts

The opening lead is the nine of spades.  Dummy comes down and I'm looking at

Kathy    AKJ842    Paul
=====    K5        ====
98753              QJ62
-                  T863
73                 QT96
J98643             Q

  I played a diamond from dummy, then tested hearts with the Ace, seeing
the foul split.  There is a winning line from here, but I didn't find it
even after thinking about it in the morning.  I found this free
double-dummy hand analyzer on the web, and it showed my how I could have
made 7 hearts after the spade lead.

  At trick 3, play the spade Ace, pitching a club, then ruff your low spade
with the heart nine(!!), the key play.  This unblock enables you to get back
to your hand twice with low trumps, finessing Paul's T86, but before you do
that, play dummy's club king.  Now finesse in hearts, ruff a club with the
jack (to prevent the overruff and preserve your hand entry), finesse in
hearts again, and cash your last heart.  These will be the remaining cards,

Kathy    AKJ8      Paul
======   -         ====
98753              Q
-                  -
73                 QT9
J98643             -

Now cashing the club ace, squeezes Paul out of his spade honor and diamond
holding.  If he keeps the spade queen, play a diamond to the ace, king and
jack.  Very nice.

Needless to say, I didn't find that line.  I tried to set up diamonds at
trick 3 by playing ace, king, and ruffing the third round with my heart
seven.  When I saw the foul break in diamonds also, I couldn't recover.
I wound up losing the club ten to Kathy at trick 13.

So that now you've seen the hand make double dummy, what could the
defenders have done about it?  Do you see it?  Bridgify did.  At trick one,
Kathy has to break up the squeeze by leading a diamond.  According to
Bridgify, seven hearts can now no longer make.