BRIDGE

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - WEEK IN MOVIES - with DOU­GLAS NEW­LANDS

Some days, bridge just seems too dif­fi­cult as West found out here. None­the­less, there were plenty of clues. West led the three of spades against South’s 15- 17 1NT and it went ten, jack and king. South now of­fered the nine of clubs and ev­ery­one ducked with East play­ing the four ( nat­u­ral card­ing). Next South played the jack of clubs, taken by West and East played the eight. At this point, West feared that de­clarer held the Q87x of spades and, not want­ing to con­cede an ex­tra spade trick, switched to the two of hearts, cov­ered by the jack, queen and ace. De­clarer then played the third club set­ting up the thirteenth card in dummy and West had to find an­other lead. When the five of hearts was led, de­clarer played low and won in hand with the nine. Hav­ing to­tally mis­played hearts, de­clarer played the ace to see if they were 3- 3 and East dis­carded the 10D which was a dis­cour­ag­ing even card with suit pref­er­ence over­tones. When the hearts didn’t split, de­clarer led a small di­a­mond and West won with the queen while East played the 7D.

When West cashed the last heart, East got rid of the los­ing KD but West now played a di­a­mond giv­ing de­clarer eight tricks! Clearly, lit­tle has gone right for West but how could this have been avoided?

Per­haps, West was too pes­simistic about spades since, apart from be­ing set up as they were, South might have Q8x( x) and small to part­ner’s 7S is cor­rect to that the suit will run when East leads it next. The sig­nal with the 10D should have made things clear and the dis­card of the KD de­nies the ace whereas the dis­card of the ace prom­ises the king. Even if this is not in­ter­preted cor­rectly one only has to re­flect that com­ing into the end­ing East has never thrown a spades. If East ac­tu­ally has the AKD, then they will dis­card the los­ing spades in their hand and not the win­ning di­a­mond. The les­son is to keep an eye on what win­ners part­ner can hold and what losers they will dis­card and not to get lost in part­ner’s sig­nals.

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