More win­ners from count­ing points

The Hamilton Spectator - - LIVING - BY PHILLIP ALDER

Friedrich Ni­et­zsche said, “On the moun­tains of truth you can never climb in vain: Ei­ther you will reach a point higher up to­day, or you will be train­ing your pow­ers so that you will be able to climb higher to­mor­row.”

Yes, the more you work at any­thing, the bet­ter you will prob­a­bly be­come. Here is an­other deal in which de­clarer uses the bid­ding and high-card points to work out the win­ning play.

South is in four spades. West cashes the heart ace and king be­fore shift­ing to the spade four. How should de­clarer con­tinue?

Over West’s take­out dou­ble, North was in­flu­enced by the Law of To­tal Tricks, bid­ding straight to the four-level in the known 10-card spade fit. Then, East might have bid five hearts (or four no-trump, which would have shown a two-suiter). Here, that con­tract would have gone down only two, which would have been a good save if four spades were mak­ing.

West was tempted to shift to a club at trick three, but re­al­ized that it could not help. He saw that the weird-look­ing spade lead could not cost.

South has to guess the clubs to get home. After draw­ing trumps, he cashes the di­a­monds end­ing in the dummy (to de­lay the evil mo­ment), then leads the club jack. When East plays low smoothly (you would, wouldn’t you?), what should de­clarer do?

West has al­ready pro­duced nine points: the heart ace-king and spade queen. If he had the club ace as well, he would have opened the bid­ding. So, South puts up his club king. It’s a cer­tainty to win.

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