It is dif­fi­cult to break habits

The Hamilton Spectator - - LIVING - BY PHILLIP ALDER

Mark Twain said, “A habit can­not be tossed out the win­dow; it must be coaxed down the stairs a step at a time.”

A bridge habit can­not be tossed out the win­dow; it must be coaxed down the deck a trick at a time — maybe!

In this deal, West must avoid a habit that has held him in good stead for his bridge life­time. South is in three notrump. West leads the spade four: five, seven, king. South cashes the di­a­mond ace and di­a­mond king, then leads a low heart. How should West an­a­lyze the deal?

South has a max­i­mum 17 points, but those pointed-suit hold­ings are not great. North just shoots for game with a com­bined 25-27 points.

Note East’s play at trick one. When you can­not play a nine or higher, give count. East played the seven, go­ing high-low with a dou­ble­ton.

The first trick marked South with the top three spade hon­ors. He then cashed the high di­a­monds, ad­ver­tis­ing a to­tal of 16 points. West should also check de­clarer’s win­ners. He is known to have three spades and five di­a­monds. So, if he takes trick four on the board, he will run for home.

West must not fol­low sec­ond hand low; he must win this trick and cash the club king. Then, although East is forced to play a dis­cour­ag­ing two, West must con­tinue with his sec­ond club. Here, the de­fend­ers take one heart and four clubs to de­feat the con­tract.

De­fend­ers try to play in tempo, so as not to help de­clarer. Here, though, with king-queen-dou­ble­ton on the board, it would be a good idea for West to pause at trick four and work things out.

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

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.