Confucius said, "If I am walking with two other men, each of them will serve as my teacher. I will pick out the good points of the one and imitate them, and the bad points of the other and correct them in myself."
If I am playing in a slam with two chances to make it, each of them will be considered carefully. I will pick out the good and bad points of both and try to choose the better. But if I can attempt both chances, that is perfect.
In this deal, South is in seven hearts. What should he do after West leads the spade king?
After partner opened one no-trump, South threw science out of the window, used Gerber, learned his partner had the two missing aces, and went for the jackpot.
Declarer, with 12 top tricks, had two chances for the extra winner: the diamond finesse or clubs 3-3. A priori, the finesse is 50 percent and the 3-3 break is 35.53 percent. So it looks as though the finesse is the winner. But I hope you noticed that it is possible to combine these chances, increasing the probability to 67.8 percent.
First, South must ruff in his hand at trick one. The discard on the spade ace must wait until declarer knows what to pitch.
South runs all of his trumps, then cashes dummy's top clubs. Here, they are 3-3, so declarer throws his diamond queen on the spade ace and claims. But if the clubs had not brokenly evenly, South would have discarded his fourth club on the spade ace and tried the diamond finesse.
COPYRIGHT: 2012, UNITED FEATURE SYNDICATE
SPADES A 5 4 2
HEARTS 10 9
DIAMONDS J 8 7 2
CLUBS A K Q
SPADES K Q 10 9SPADES J 8 7 6 3
HEARTS 4 3HEARTS 6 2
DIAMONDS K 10 6 5DIAMONDS 9 4 3
CLUBS 9 7 4CLUBS J 10 8
HEARTS A K Q J 8 7 5
DIAMONDS A Q
CLUBS 6 5 3 2
4 CLUBSPass4 SPADESPass
Opening lead: SPADES K