BRIDGE The bid pro­vides a vivid road map

The Hamilton Spectator - - FUN & GAMES - by Phillip Alder

Earl Nightin­gale, who was nick­named the Dean of Per­sonal Devel­op­ment, said, “All you need is the plan, the road map and the courage to press on to your des­ti­na­tion.”

A bridge de­clarer knows his des­ti­na­tion and should al­ways have a plan, but in some deals his road map is clearer than on oth­ers. This deal was mis­played by a com­puter pro­gram; I think a hu­man would have done bet­ter if West pro­duced the same re­veal­ing over­call.

West made a Michaels Cue-bid, show­ing at least 5-5 in the ma­jors. It was tempt­ing, but de­bat­able op­po­site a passed part­ner, be­cause if East-West did not win the auc­tion, the op­po­nent was be­ing given a great road map. North’s two-spade cue­bid showed a max­i­mum pass with five or six clubs. (A two-heart cue-bid would have been at least game-in­vi­ta­tional with di­a­mond sup­port.) South made a strangelook­ing take­out dou­ble over three hearts and ended in five di­a­monds.

If West had led any­thing but a spade, the de­fend­ers would have come out on top, but he chose the spade 10.

South needs a lot of luck and should as­sume that West has 5-5-1-2 dis­tri­bu­tion. De­clarer takes East’s spade king with the ace, cashes the di­a­mond ace (great news!), then turns to the clubs. South pitches the heart eight on the third high club, ruffs a club and leads the spade jack (or eight). West wins and, say, leads an­other spade. De­clarer ruffs with dummy’s di­a­mond king, then dis­cards his last spade on the high club eight. East ruffs, but that is the sec­ond and last de­fen­sive trick.

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