~Play the 4-3 Split Correctly


S AJ43
D 74
C AJ96

S T987
H 98765
D K963
C —

S K62
D A82
C K432

S Q5
H 42
C QJ875
Bidding Commentary: South opens 1NT and North bids 2C, planning to play in either 4S or 3NT. When South denies a 4-card major, North bids 3NT.
Lead and defense Commentary: West is likely to lead the heart 6, hoping to establish the suit and get the lead back with the diamond K. Alternately, West might lead the top of the spade run, but establishing a longer suit would appear to be the better bet.
Playing Commentary: South is glad that the defense did not lead a low diamond. Given the reprieve, South can attempt to gain a 9th trick in either spades or clubs. If clubs are led first (the K), West shows out, and South must abandon play in clubs and try spades. South needs three spade tricks to make the contract. If spades split 3-3 or if the finesse for the spade Q is successful, the contract comes home; however, the expected split is 4-2. If there are 4 spades to the Q in the East hand, the contract cannot be made. If spades split 3-3, the contract cannot be set after a heart lead. The correct line of play is
~Lead a low spade to the A
~Lead a low spade toward the K; then lead toward the J4 in the North hand. This line of play will succeed whenever there is a 3-3 split, whenever East holds a doubleton Q, or whenever West holds four spades to the Q.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: