Lead­ing a weak suit mis­lead­ing

The Hamilton Spectator - - FOOD - BY PHILLIP ALDER

Eigh­teenth-cen­tury sib­ling au­thors Au­gus­tus and Julius Hare wrote, “A weak mind sinks un­der pros­per­ity, as well as un­der ad­ver­sity. A strong and deep mind has two high­est tides.”

A bridge play by de­clarer that of­ten re­sults in pros­per­ity is lead­ing a weak suit. The opponents as­sume de­clarer has val­ues there and steer clear of it. This deal oc­curred dur­ing the 2016 Yeh On­line World Bridge Cup. Matches were played si­mul­ta­ne­ously among four teams in three venues: Bei­jing, Turin and Seat­tle.

How did Lin Rongqiang of the Chi­nese Con­tract Bridge As­so­ci­a­tion play in three no-trump af­ter re­ceiv­ing a spade lead?

South’s strong-club se­quence promised a bal­anced 22-24; he rightly up­graded for the five-card suit and ex­cel­lent con­trols (four aces and a king).

West, ner­vous of lead­ing a red­suit king, chose the spade 10.

De­clarer won with his jack and played two rounds of clubs. Af­ter West threw the heart six, East won with the king and re­turned his sec­ond spade. South took the trick with the ace, played a spade to the queen (East pitched a heart) and cashed the club queen. De­clarer dis­carded a di­a­mond, and West shed the spade nine.

Now South threw a curve: He led a heart to his 10! West won with her queen and shifted to the di­a­mond king. When that held the trick, West, mis­led by South’s play, con­tin­ued with the di­a­mond six. This gave de­clarer nine tricks via four spades, one heart, two di­a­monds and two clubs. Then West dis­carded a di­a­mond on the spade ace, so Lin took 10 tricks and gained 10 in­ter­na­tional match points when South’s open­ing bid of one di­a­mond was passed out at the other ta­ble.

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