INTERMEDIATE BRIDGE COURSE                                                      







C.  THE FINESSE : The attempt to gain power for lower ranking cards by taking advantage of a presumed favorable position of higher ranking cards held by the opponents. The process is based upon the idea of leading toward the card(s) you hope will take a trick.  It will be successful 50% of the time.


          Exercise 1: To avoid losing a trick to an honor missing from a tenace holding.


           DUMMY:                AQX                AKJ                KJX                            AKJXX   (8 Ever - 9 Never)              

           DECLARER:             XXX                XXX               AX                              XXX


          Exercise 2: To gain a trick with lower ranking cards.


                DUMMY:                   XX                   QXX                    XXX

              DECLARER:               KX                   AXX                    QXX



          Exercise 3:  To prepare for a second finesse in the same suit.


               DUMMY:              AJ10            AK109             AJ9

             DECLARER:           XXX           XXX               XXXX



          Exercise 4:  Repeated finesses. If successful will yield more tricks than via a simple promotion.


               DUMMY:              KQX             AQJ

             DECLARER:          XXX             XXX



           Exercise 5:  The development of a long suit via a combined promotion of high cards and the            

                              simple finesse.  Combining these ideas, how many tricks might be developed in each     

                              of the following combinations, assuming the location of the missing high card(s)        

                              and the division of the missing cards are as favorable as possible.


                   DUMMY:              QXX              KQXX          KXXXX              AQJXX             XXXX     

               DECLARER:           AXXXX         XXXX           XXX                    XXX                AKJXX


                                                    4                    3                     3                          5                      4



Conclusion: Extra tricks can be developed by combining the finesse with the development of long suits.    

                   Just how many tricks capable of being taken is dependent upon the location of the high

                   cards and the division of the missing cards of the suit between the opponents.




                                                                                                                                                                        - 6 -



Exercise 6:  The choice of leading towards the high card or of leading the high card itself. In each of

                  the following combinations, how would you play each of the following card combinations   

                   so as to achieve the maximum number of tricks?



          DUMMY:                AXX           J109           QX           QJXX           JX

    DECLARER:             QJ10           AKXX       AXX         AXX            AQ109



 Conclusion:  One should lead the high card itself instead of leading toward the high card only when you    

                     have most of the high card strength and when you don't mind if the opponent COVERS your  

                     high card with a higher card. To do so will have the effect of attempting to trap the missing 

                     high card held by the opposition. Otherwise, lead toward the higher card.




Exercise 7:   The deep finesse ‑ a finessing technique used when two or more high cards are missing     

                    higher in rank than the card finessed.


        DUMMY:                           AQ10                             XXX                                 AJ9

       DECLARER:                       XXX                               KJ10                                 XXX


                                              Finesse the 10                 Finesse the 10                      Finesse the 9

                                            and presume the               and presume the                  and presume the

                                           K or K/J on the left          Q or Q/A on the right        K/10 or Q/10 on the left                                 




Conclusion: When you are leading towards high cards, two of the honors are missing, and you have a 

                    choice of cards to play, play the lower card first.
























                                                                                                                                                                                        - 7 -