presents     Professor IMP's Weekly    Master Class  #6         To Prof. IMP Index

Prof IMP 
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'One out of three'
As soon as the last cards had been played at the European Mixed Pairs Championships at Bellaria/Rimini, Italy, Professor IMP and his favorite student were already looking for hot deals. They came across this one from the finals:

Suppose you hold  A 7 6 2  K 10 4  K 8 7  5 4 2, and the auction goes:
 

LHO RHO
Pass 1
1 2NT
3NT Pass
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You lead the 2 (attitude) and dummy comes down:
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- dummy
W/EW J 8 5 
J 9 7 6 3 
10 2 
K J 7
A 7 6 2 
K 10 4 
K 8 7 
5 4 2
-      ---
e
  
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 Declarer plays low from dummy, East plays the 10 and South the Q. Next comes a club to the jack and a heart to the queen.
"Which card do you play here, young man? The four, the ten or the king?"
This time the student, who realized that the moment of truth had arrived,  was not too quick to respond and he gave the matter some thought.
"What’s your problem? You have a chance of one out of three."
Finally the student proposed the 4.
"Wrong, young man, totally wrong. Now, declarer will undoubtedly cash the A, play another heart, and hope for a 4-4 spade break."
"That way the contract will be made," the Professor continued. "Let’s have a look at the full deal first:
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W/EW J 8 5 
J 9 7 6 3 
10 2 
K J 7
  A 7 6 2 
  K 10 4 
  K 8 7 
  5 4 2
K 10 4 3 
8 2---- 
Q J 6 5 
10 9 3
e Q 9 
A Q 5 
A 9 4 3 
A Q 8 6
 
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If you had inserted the ten instead, it's dollars to doughnuts that declarer would have crossed to dummy with another club to repeat the heart finesse. With no entries left and the hearts blocked, declarer would be doomed. Notice that playing East for K-doubleton is much more attractive than playing to pin West's doubleton 10, for if successful, it would yield two overtricks."

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