Giv­ing your­self the best chance

The Hamilton Spectator - - FOOD -


Emily Levine, whose first job af­ter grad­u­at­ing from Har­vard was dub­bing spaghetti west­erns in Rome, said, “I was taught to do math and read at the same time. So you’re six years old, you’re read­ing ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’ and it be­comes rapidly ob­vi­ous that there are only two kinds of men in the world: dwarves and Prince Charm­ings. And the odds are seven-to-one against your find­ing the prince. That’s why lit­tle girls don’t do math.”

Suc­cess­ful bridge play­ers do a lot of math — in par­tic­u­lar, track­ing ev­ery­one’s high-card points. How­ever, when it comes to play­ing suit com­bi­na­tions, know­ing the ex­act num­bers is not of­ten nec­es­sary. Just think­ing about the dif­fer­ent win­ning lay­outs prob­a­bly will push you in the right di­rec­tion.

In this deal, how should South play in six no-trump af­ter West leads the club queen?

North used the Ger­ber aceask­ing con­ven­tion, just to check that two aces weren’t miss­ing.

South starts with 10 top tricks: two spades, three hearts, three di­a­monds and two clubs. De­clarer needs to win four spade tricks — but how?

Play­ing the king fol­lowed by the ace will work when the suit splits 3-3 or there is a queen­jack-dou­ble­ton. But start­ing with low to dummy’s 10 also suc­ceeds if West has jack-dou­ble­ton or queen-dou­ble­ton. So this must be better.

South wins with his club king and leads a spade to the 10. East takes the trick and re­turns a club, but when the spade king drops West’s jack, de­clarer can claim. His odds are just over 61 per­cent — much better than the mere 39 per­cent for cash­ing the ace and king.

Look for the Satur­day Bridge and Chess and lo­cal Bridge re­sults in the new Satur­day Fun & Games sec­tion

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