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IT TAKES A LITTLE FINESSE
Charles Goren
December 25, 1972
Most players think of a finesse as a lead toward a high card that is accompanied by a lower one, say an ace and a queen, in the hopes that the lower one will win the trick. The artifice is not quite that simple. Any attempt to win a trick with a card lower than the highest one outstanding is a finesse, and there are a dozen different kinds. Many deals offer a choice of finesses to take—and in some cases none should be taken at all. In this year's quiz, the decisions are yours. On each hand you are South. Making an overtrick or risking an extra undertrick is not a vital consideration; your aim is merely to find the best chance to make your contract. Decide in what order you will make your plays and exactly which card you will play to each trick. There are occasional bonus awards for careful plays that enhance your chances, and I have assessed demerit points for plays that might imperil them unnecessarily. Finessing is a tricky business. If you score 75 points or less, you had better devise new stratagems. Earn 76 to 99 and you are sure to come out ahead. Total 100 or more and you win my congratulations. You will have helped to disprove the old saw that "one peek is worth two finesses."
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December 25, 1972

It Takes A Little Finesse

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Most players think of a finesse as a lead toward a high card that is accompanied by a lower one, say an ace and a queen, in the hopes that the lower one will win the trick. The artifice is not quite that simple. Any attempt to win a trick with a card lower than the highest one outstanding is a finesse, and there are a dozen different kinds. Many deals offer a choice of finesses to take—and in some cases none should be taken at all. In this year's quiz, the decisions are yours. On each hand you are South. Making an overtrick or risking an extra undertrick is not a vital consideration; your aim is merely to find the best chance to make your contract. Decide in what order you will make your plays and exactly which card you will play to each trick. There are occasional bonus awards for careful plays that enhance your chances, and I have assessed demerit points for plays that might imperil them unnecessarily. Finessing is a tricky business. If you score 75 points or less, you had better devise new stratagems. Earn 76 to 99 and you are sure to come out ahead. Total 100 or more and you win my congratulations. You will have helped to disprove the old saw that "one peek is worth two finesses."

1

NORTH

[Ace of Spades]
[King of Spades]
[Queen of Spades]
[Jack of Spades]
[3 of Spades]
[King of Hearts]
[Jack of Hearts]
[10 of Hearts]
[3 of Hearts]
[9 of Clubs]
[8 of Clubs]
[2 of Clubs]
[4 of Diamonds]

SOUTH

[9 of Spades]
[8 of Spades]
[Ace of Hearts]
[9 of Hearts]
[7 of Hearts]
[6 of Hearts]
[4 of Hearts]
[King of Clubs]
[7 of Clubs]
[6 of Clubs]
[Queen of Diamonds]
[Jack of Diamonds]
[2 of Diamonds]

Contract: 4 [Heart]. West leads the diamond ace and continues with another diamond. How should you proceed?

2

NORTH

[Ace of Spades]
[King of Spades]
[5 of Spades]
[7 of Hearts]
[5 of Hearts]
[2 of Hearts]
[King of Clubs]
[Queen of Clubs]
[5 of Clubs]
[3 of Clubs]
[Ace of Diamonds]
[King of Diamonds]
[7 of Diamonds]

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