The Weekend Australian - Review - - Mind Games - Paul Marston

When one player is known to hold a long suit, any miss­ing card is more likely to be with the part­ner. Con­sider this hand where you are de­clarer in four hearts. West be­gins with the ace and king of spades with East dis­card­ing a club on the sec­ond round. What do you do when West con­tin­ues with a third round of spades?

In essence, you have to de­cide right now who has the queen of hearts. If it’s West, you ruff with the jack of hearts then draw West’s trumps, fi­ness­ing if nec­es­sary. But if it’s East, you must ruff with the king of hearts and con­tinue by fi­ness­ing East out of his queen. You can’t know for sure who has the queen but the di­vi­sion of the spade suit is a pretty good guide.

You know West started with seven spades and East just one. That means East has 12 miss­ing cards while West has just six. This makes it twice as likely that East has any par­tic­u­lar miss­ing card so you should ruff with the king and run the jack of hearts.

This time you are in three notrumps. West leads a low spade, East plays the queen and you win the king. In­clud­ing this trick you have eight cer­tain win­ners so you only need one more. But the trou­ble is that it will be lights out once you lose the lead, with the op­po­nents lining up their tsunami of spades. How do you con­tinue?

You may as well start by see­ing if the clubs break 3-3. If they do the fourth club in dummy will be good. But East shows out on the third round, throw­ing a di­a­mond. At this point you can place West with six spades and four clubs. This means West started with three red cards against East’s eight. This makes it more than twice as likely that East has any par­tic­u­lar miss­ing queen. So you should cash the ace and king of di­a­monds in case the queen falls in the West hand. When it doesn’t you cash the ace of hearts and play a heart to the ten.

The 2015 Au­tumn Na­tion­als were re­cently held in Ade­laide.

The Open Teams Mike Doecke, Wil­liam Jen­ner-O’Shea, Maxim Henbest and Simon Hinge.

OPEN PAIRS 1 Ar­juna De Livera & Bruce Neill 2 Re­nee & Ron Cooper 3 Peter Hol­lands & Justin Wil­liams

SE­NIORS PAIRS 1 David Cherry & David Par­rott 2 Dee Har­ley & Stephen Weisz 3 Peter Chan & Roger Januszke

WOM­ENS PAIRS 1 Mar­garet Bourke & Sue Lusk 2 Candice Gins­berg & Bar­bara Travis 3 Rose­mary Grund & Ju­dith Roberts

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