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How much do you really know about finesses? A finesse is one of the most common techniques in bridge and yet one of the most abused. The term “finesseaholic” describes a player who never met a finesse he/she didn’t want to take. So often the finesse is really a last resort, only when other more promising lines of play are not available or have failed.
As a common technique, so much is often taken for granted. Often there are questions that need be resolved. Is it a two-way guess? Which suit should be finessed first? Who is it safe to finesse into? Which card should be led may make the difference between success and failure. Are there clues in the bidding or lack of bidding?
One definition of “experience” is what we get when we don’t get what we want. After you play bridge for a while, you will learn that the finesses you desperately need to work are the ones that fail. Profit from experience. Avoid an unnecessary finesse that may lead to disaster if it loses.
Dr James Marsh Sternberg is a radiologist in Palm Beach Gardens Florida & Professor of Radiology at two northern universities. He currently teaches bridge in Florida. He has won several North American National Championships and has written extensively for many bridge publications. He is the author of “Playing To Trick One”, There Are No Mulligans In Bridge. “Dr J” lives in Palm Beach Gardens with Vickie Bader.
2020; paperback; 230 pages