bridge

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Mind Games - PaulMarston

RICHARD Coren of Florida won the ma­jor pairs event at the re­cent US na­tion­als in Dal­las in part­ner­ship with Bobby Levin and he also won the mixed pairs with Janice Sea­mon-Mol­son. But far more im­pres­sive than these wins is his bat­tle with Crohn’s dis­ease, an im­mune-re­lated in­flam­ma­tory bowel dis­ease. He was di­ag­nosed dur­ing his sec­ond year in law school when he suf­fered an episode so de­bil­i­tat­ing that he had to drop out and move back home to live with his par­ents, ex­ist­ing on a diet of Ga­torade and ba­nanas. Still, he did fin­ish his law de­gree and built his own law prac­tice. How­ever, in 1994, two weeks af­ter the birth of his daugh­ter he was mis­treated dur­ing what should have been a rou­tine treat­ment. Sep­sis set in caus­ing mul­ti­ple or­gan fail­ure and he lay in a coma for four months. The hospi­tal wanted to pull the plug but his wife said no. Then one day he woke up some­what sur­prised to find him­self hooked up to a ven­ti­la­tor with a crowd of doc­tors look­ing on.

No doubt this is why he plays bridge as if there is no to­mor­row. Take a look at deal one, where he sat South.

When East over­called in spades, Coren de­cided to sit on his solid eight card heart suit. Then over four di­a­monds he leapt to six notrumps, dou­bled by East. West led a low di­a­mond. Coren played low in dummy and his fate hung on East’s next move. If East played the queen, it would win and a club shift would guar­an­tee two down. But East, who had no idea about the eight card heart suit, qui­etly played the nine of di­a­monds al­low­ing Coren to live on to fight an­other day. Coren won the 10 of di­a­monds and claimed his con­tract by way of eight heart tricks, two di­a­monds, one spade and one club.

How do you play four spades on deal two on the lead of the ace and king of spades?

If you ruff the sec­ond spade and draw trumps, you are down. The trou­ble is that you are out of trumps so when East gets in with the king of clubs he leads his last spade and you can­not pre­vent West run­ning his spades for two down. The win­ning line is only slightly dif­fer­ent. In­stead of trump­ing the sec­ond spade, dis­card a di­a­mond and trump the third spade. The dif­fer­ence is that now when East gets in with the king of clubs he has no spades left and you make your con­tract.

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