An old-fashioned auction gets you to 4H. LHO leads the K, won by Dummy’s A. You cash 2 high trumps revealing a trump loser with your LHO. How will you proceed to make 4H? Assume IMPS or Rubber Bridge.
ANSWER: Finesse for a contract only as a last resort. If you cash the A and finesse Dummy’s J, losing to RHO’s Q, the defense cashes the Q and switches to spades. Dummy wins the ªA, but when you play the K, intending to subsequently discard your losing 6, LHO ruffs and leads a spade for one down. You lose one trick in each suit.
To take a winning frame of mind, you should NOT finesse the J. If successful, it means merely an overtrick. First, assume a normal 3-2 club split. (That’s more likely than a successful club finesse.) DO think to establish clubs for a Spade discard, but be willing to accept the loss of a club trick in that process.
After the 2 high trumps, cash your K and A and surrender a club. LHO then gets the Q and shifts to the K, but too late. Win it in Dummy and play the good J, enabling you to discard your losing 6 while LHO ruffs with his high trump. A loser-on-loser play! Correct timing in play of the club suit saves the day!
The defenders’ hands are: