BRIDGE AND CHESS

The Hamilton Spectator - - WEATHER FORECAST - BY PHILLIP ALDER

AT­TEN­TION! THIS FEA­TURE IS NOT AVAIL­ABLE

Leo Tol­stoy wrote, “Er­ror is the force that welds men to­gether; truth is com­mu­ni­cated to men only by deeds of truth.”

Er­ror is the force that welds less-ex­pe­ri­enced bridge play­ers to­gether.

In my classes, if we ex­clude play­ing far too quickly from the dummy at trick one, I see two er­rors more of­ten than any oth­ers. They are re­lated to an­swer­ing part­ner’s take­out dou­ble and play­ing third hand high. Let’s put them un­der the spot­light this week.

Look at the South hand in the di­a­gram. West opens one di­a­mond, North makes a take­out dou­ble, and East passes — what should South do?

South can pass only when he has long and strong di­a­monds. So, a sim­ple bid in a suit prom­ises noth­ing; it has a range of 0-8 points. This South hand con­tains 9 points, so he must jump to two spades. Yes, this could be a 4-3 fit, but we can­not worry about that at the mo­ment. A good part­ner will have four-card sup­port.

Here, North, know­ing his part­ner has 9-11 points, jumps to four spades. How should South plan the play af­ter West cashes two top di­a­monds and ex­its with a trump?

De­clarer has three top losers: one heart and two di­a­monds. He must find the club queen to make his con­tract. When faced with a guess like this, leave it as late as pos­si­ble. First, draw the trumps. Then, play on hearts to learn that East holds the ace. Next, check the points.

South is miss­ing only 16, and West opened the bid­ding, but East has the heart ace. West must have the club queen, so fi­nesse through him to get home safely.

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