Hope for card to be well-placed

The Hamilton Spectator - - STYLE - BY PHILLIP ALDER

Carmine Gallo, an ex­pert in busi­ness com­mu­ni­ca­tions and lead­er­ship skills, said, “Noth­ing is more dra­matic than a well-placed pause.”

That pause might also be crit­i­cal in a com­edy. At the bridge table, though, we might need one card to be well-placed. In this deal, South was in six hearts. Which one card did he hope East held? How did South play af­ter West led the spade 10?

South’s jump to four hearts, a su­per­ac­cept, promised four-card sup­port and a good hand for hearts. I be­lieve, though, that the hand should have had a dou­ble­ton.

De­clarer had 10 top tricks: two spades, six hearts and two di­a­monds. He could have es­tab­lished a club win­ner and had two fi­nesses that he might have tried.

There was a temp­ta­tion to take the spade fi­nesse at trick one, but South re­al­ized that that could wait. If he could just find East with the club ace, the con­tract was safe.

De­clarer took the first trick with his spade king, drew trumps end­ing on the board and led dummy’s club. East de­fended well by not tak­ing the trick. How­ever, South won with his king, ruffed the club three, played a trump to his hand, led the club queen and, in­stead of ruff­ing it, dis­carded dummy’s low diamond.

East took the trick, but was end­played. If he led a spade or diamond, it would have been away from his queen into dummy’s tenace. So he tried the club jack, but de­clarer ruffed in his hand (a seventh trump trick) and dis­carded the spade jack from the dummy. He claimed two spades, six hearts, two di­a­monds, one club and the club ruff.

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