Wrong Path

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - ENTERTAINMENT -

South con­tin­ued with the top di­a­monds drop­ping the queen to hope­fully ad­vance a low spade to­wards the jack. His hopes were dashed when East pro­duced the king and re­turned the eight of hearts. De­clarer won the king and played off the ace and queen of spades as West parted with a club. The heart exit threw West on play to cash out the suit but he was com­pelled to play a club at trick twelve into the ace-queen. How­ever, the con­tract fin­ished down one, NS -100. De­clarer was for­tu­nate to emerge with eight tricks but this was slim con­so­la­tion for miss­ing out on the mi­nor suit game which yields thir­teen tricks with di­a­monds breaking 2-2 and both black suit kings on­side.

North's ad­vance to the ninet­rick game might have been cor­rect on an­other lay­out but not on this oc­ca­sion. He could be cer­tain that West would lead a heart where the di­a­mond suit would be dead un­less part­ner held three or more di­a­monds. A more pru­dent plan would be to di­rect the part­ner­ship to the mi­nor suit game. Re­bids of three di­a­monds or four di­a­monds would func­tion as a trans­fer to hearts but three spades is avail­able as an ar­ti­fi­cial call to re­veal a long mi­nor and a hand ill-suited for NT.

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