If you help part­ner, it helps you too

The Hamilton Spectator - - GO - BY PHILLIP ALDER

Al­fred Hitch­cock wrote, “See­ing a mur­der on tele­vi­sion ... can help work off one’s an­tag­o­nism. And if you haven’t any an­tag­o­nisms, the com­mer­cials will give you some.”

Al­ter­na­tively, record ev­ery show you wish to watch so that you can fast-for­ward through the ad­ver­tise­ments.

One of the arts of bridge is help­ing part­ner to find the win­ning play, so that you do not mur­der the de­fense of the con­tract. Too many play­ers are con­cerned only with their prob­lems and fail to take part­ner’s predica­ments into ac­count.

In this deal, for ex­am­ple, how should the de­fend­ers card to de­feat three no-trump after West leads his fourth-high­est spade?

Dur­ing a team match some years ago, the first East made the nat­u­ral play: He won the first trick with his spade king and re­turned the spade eight, the higher of two re­main­ing cards. Then West, know­ing that he had no side en­try, played low to keep com­mu­ni­ca­tion with his part­ner. This would have been the only win­ning de­fense if de­clarer had, say, the club king-jack. Then, when East got in with his club ace, he would have led his third spade. The de­fend­ers would have taken one club and four spades.

Here, though, this de­fense back­fired when de­clarer im­me­di­ately claimed nine tricks: one spade, three hearts and five di­a­monds.

The sec­ond East an­tic­i­pated this oc­cur­rence. At trick two, he care­fully cashed the club king. Then, when East re­turned the spade eight, West took the trick with his ace and re­turned a club to de­feat the con­tract.

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