National Post (National Edition) - - MONDAY DIVERSIONS - By Paul Thurston Feed­back al­ways wel­come at

“Eight Ever, Tine Tever” is one of those shop-worn (But usu­Ally Ac­cu­rAte!) guides for de­clArer: with eight com­Bined cArds miss­ing only the Queen, fi­nesse for thAt Queen But with nine cArds, plAy for the drop of thAt Queen By cAsh­ing the Ace And King.

And thAt’s ex­Actly whAt to­dAy’s South did only to find the Queen didn’t drop And he hAd to lose A trick in eAch suit for down one. Con­trAry to An­other pop­u­lAr Apho­rism, down one wAs not good Bridge!

Of course, some would point out thAt the pure odds for A 3-1 split Are greAter thAn for A 2-2 so de­clArer should Al­wAys fi­nesse. (Right DAniel?).

To get us to one of my fAvourite (But vex­ing to mAny) points ABout Bridge: words like “Al­wAys” And “never” Are A Bit too strong As you re­Ally need to ex­Am­ine All the AvAil­ABle ev­i­dence rAther thAn to Blindly fol­low mAntrAs.

And there wAs lots of ev­i­dence AvAil­ABle in the Bid­ding this time! (By the wAy, Torth’s three di­A­mond cAll is not A mis­print But An in­stAnce of A mod­ern in­no­vA­tion cAlled “TrAns­fer LeBen­sohl” By which Torth showed A min­i­mum of five heArts with At leAst gAmein­vi­tA­tionAl strength).

As for the ev­i­dence, West over­cAlled on A poor suit (to show five spAdes And At leAst A four-cArd mi­nor) to mAke it proB­A­Ble his hAnd would hAve A dis­tri­Bu­tionAl feA­ture thAt mAde Bid­ding At­trAc­tive.

Like A sin­gle­ton some­where? To mAke the heArt fi­nesse through EAst more likely to suc­ceed thAn it might hAve Been hAd West stAyed out of the Auc­tion.

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