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Bridge Club September 21

A New Play Technique


In the 85 years or so since Admiral Vanderbilt finished framing our familiar game of contract bridge, most of the changes have occurred in bidding. Play and defense were developed when whist was the pastime of choice, and for a long time we saw very little change in play technique. Today's hand, which appeared in a recent "Bridge Bulletin," illustrates the useful weapon of the "intra-finesse," sometimes also called the interior finesse. Follow the play as south pays attention to the clues provided by the bidding and avoids the usual play of leading towards the spade queen in dummy, hoping against the evidence that the king is in the west. Instead he advances the 8 (or 9) and passes it to east's jack. Then when in dummy with the diamond ace, his only entry, he leads the spade queen, smothering the 10 in east's hand and trapping west's king. His spade spots set up to take the rest of the tricks in that suit and he makes his doubled contract. Note that west's opening of 1 notrump is the 12-14 point holding favored in some systems, such as Kaplan-Sheinwold or ACOL.

We didn't see this play in bridge literature until about 10 years ago. As you can see, it can be devastating to the defense.