Lovely to see you all again. Turn out has been down the last two weeks so there’s plenty of room for you to come along and mug up yer bidding! Especially the different strategies depending on Vulnerability and hand assessment. But now…
The last chapter of…
The Adventure of the Four Kings
Holmes sprawled on the sofa in a loose dressing gown. I had returned from a sojourn in Huffington Parva, whence he had despatched me to research a rare poisonous beetle. In my absence he had been cataloguing – for what purpose I know not – filmy nether garments as worn by racier elements of our dear sisterhood. Was nothing beneath his forensic thirst for knowledge?
Despite his lassitude he enquired what card question it was that so irked me. How could he know this from my demeanour? I put down the pack I was fiddling with.
“Holmes”, I ventured, “Can we ascertain with certainty the commandment pertaining to the covering of an honour with an honour?”
Holmes jerked himself awake.
I continued: “The queen of spades was led but when should I play my king of spades?"
"The principle, Watson, is that when we cover an honour with an honour we do so in the knowledge – or failing that, in the hope - that we shall by doing so promote a lowlier card of ours to its full trick taking potential. It follows does it not, dear boy, that if we cannot see such value then we should by no means cover an honour with another? That one should cover only when absolutely necessary and to our side's advantage?”
“Yes yes yes Holmes,” I blurted, glad to see he had so readily taken the bull by the horn: “but when and how can we tell which particular situation occurs? Can you shed light on this matter?”
“If the honour is led from dummy and the suit is such as QJ10 then do NOT cover the first honour. But however, if the honour is UNsupported – say, Q86 – then always cover it with alacrity.”
"Thank-you Holmes. Good weekend?” How he guffawed…
It can be fatal to cover an honour in this situation:
???? ............... Kxxx
Now the play of the king gives declarer four easy tricks when the queen is led.
However in the next situation you gain a trick by covering the queen:
9xx ............... K10xx
See you next week.