Get out from un­der your own feet

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

Robert Or­ben, a com­edy writer, penned: “Ev­ery speaker has a mouth; / An ar­range­ment rather neat. / Some­times it’s filled with wis­dom. / Some­times it’s filled with feet.”

There are times at the bridge ta­ble when you feel as though you must get out from un­der your own feet. In this deal, for ex­am­ple, South is in four spades. West leads the heart ace and con­tin­ues with the heart king. Ev­ery­thing looks so easy, but what must de­clarer do?

North made a sup­port dou­ble over West’s two-heart in­ter­ven­tion, which showed ex­actly three-card spade sup­port, but did not de­fine his point-count. South, with an open­ing bid of his own, jumped to game, trust­ing that North would bid more in the un­likely event that he had ex­tra val­ues, and West had made a very weak vul­ner­a­ble over­call.

The con­tract looked easy, with South ap­par­ently hav­ing 10 win­ners via five spades and five clubs. But af­ter ruff­ing the heart king, cash­ing his spade ace and play­ing a spade to dummy’s king, East’s di­a­mond dis­card was a blow.

South paused, then saw the so­lu­tion. He cashed two top clubs, then fin­ished re­mov- ing West’s trumps, and de­clarer, on the fourth round of spades, ditched dummy’s last club. South took three more tricks with his re­main­ing high clubs to make his con­tract.

Fi­nally, note that if East had bravely raised hearts, de­spite zero points and be­ing vul­ner­a­ble, West might have taken the push to five hearts, know­ing that East was very short in spades.

Five hearts dou­bled goes down two, or per­haps only one if North does not lead a trump very early in the de­fense to cut down those spade ruffs.

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