Fine line be­tween plus and mi­nus

The Hamilton Spectator - - GO - BY PHILLIP ALDER

An­drew Lloyd Web­ber said, “What strikes me is that there’s a very fine line be­tween suc­cess and fail­ure. Just one in­gre­di­ent can make the dif­fer­ence.”

Some­times, that in­gre­di­ent is be­ing in the right place at the right time, not pure ta­lent.

In to­day’s deal, what do you think of the auc­tion, and what should West have led against five di­a­monds?

North, es­pe­cially given the fa­vor­able vul­ner­a­bil­ity, might have made a three-heart weak jump over­call, but that would not have worked well here. South, fear­ing a bad mis­fit, would prob­a­bly have passed through­out. When North passed, East added 3 points for his sin­gle­ton and made a game-in­vi­ta­tional limit raise. Now South might have bid four no-trump to show his mi­nor two-suiter, but with longer and stronger di­a­monds, he chose to in­ter­vene with four di­a­monds. In a way West did well to bid four spades, be­cause it would have made, but it per­suaded South to per­se­vere with five clubs. West dou­bled that and, on less firm ground, North’s cor­rec­tion to five di­a­monds.

There is a reli­able rule: When the op­po­nents are sac­ri­fic­ing, lead a trump. Here, as long as West then wins the first and sec­ond rounds of clubs to con­tinue lead­ing trumps, the de­fend­ers will take three club tricks for down one.

At the ta­ble, West started with a spade. Now de­clarer played on clubs, even­tu­ally ben­e­fit­ing from the 3-3 break, los­ing only two clubs and scor­ing plus 550.

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