ACES ON BRIDGE

Montreal Gazette - - PUZZLES - BOBBY WOLFF

“Pride is a tricky, glo­ri­ous, dou­ble-edged feel­ing.” — Adri­enne Rich

Op­po­nents’ two-suited open­ers and over­calls can throw a wrench in the works, but they are a dou­ble-edged sword. If you be­come de­clarer, they can help you to find the way home by draw­ing a road map of the op­po­nents’ hands.

East’s two-spade open­ing showed at least five spades plus a five-card mi­nor, and less than open­ing-bid strength. When South over­called three hearts, North raised to game, so East de­cided that at this vul­ner­a­bil­ity he could do no more.

Not know­ing which mi­nor his part­ner held, West led the spade 10 against four hearts. South took the ace and king, pitch­ing one of the los­ing clubs from hand, and now looked well-placed, but the pos­si­bil­ity of bad breaks in the red suits was a live one.

In an at­tempt to score his small trumps, South led a club from dummy at trick three. East rose with the ace and ac­cu­rately switched to his sin­gle­ton di­a­mond. South played the ace and fol­lowed with a suc­cess­ful fi­nesse of the heart nine to max­i­mize his en­tries to dummy. He ruffed a club in hand, re-en­tered dummy with the heart king as East pitched a spade, and ruffed North’s last club in hand, strip­ping West of all his black-suit cards in the process.

De­clarer now cashed the di­a­mond king, and when East failed to fol­low suit, South ex­ited with a di­a­mond. Although West could col­lect two di­a­mond tricks, he was then forced to lead away from his heart queen into the trump tenace and con­cede the rest.

AN­SWER: Not ev­ery min­i­mum 6-4 hand is gov­erned by the same prin­ci­ples, but I do have strong opin­ions about this spe­cific hand. When you can bid both your suits and your four-card suit is strong (at least two top hon­ors, or one top honor and good in­ter­me­di­ates), bid your sec­ond suit and show nine of your cards, not six.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.