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47 - MARCH 2024

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CAN DO BETTER…

In previous articles, we have discussed the importance of the extra trick in matchpoint pairs, and the measured risks that declarer was sometimes led to take in an attempt to obtain a better score. The purpose of this article is to deal with a particular situation: one in which the played contract cannot, under any circumstances, be beaten. And if this contract is the contract of the field, simply making will not necessarily result in a good score. If there is a possibility of “doing better” and declarer has not found the right line of play to actually do so, the resulting score can be mediocre and careless declarer play may even be sanctioned by a zero.

The following deal, in which you are declarer as West, is a good example of this type of situation:

The auction (Dealer East, E/W Vul):

WNES
Pass12
2♠Pass3♠Pass
4♠

The start of the play
North leads the Heart 9… You have no difficulty diagnosing this as a singleton, so you call for dummy’s Ace of Hearts. You then continue by cashing the Ace of trumps: both opponents follow, but the King does not fall.

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Robert Eskinazi

“Première série” in the FFB rankings and assistant lecturer in Lyon, Robert Eskinazi is the manager of the MVI Club bridge school in Villeurbanne. After graduating from a business school, he devoted more time to his childhood passion: bridge. Today he is best known for writing the book collection “Passeport pour le bridge” (Passport To Bridge) and the bestseller “Le tournoi par paires” (Pairs Tournament).

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