Are trumps di­vid­ing 2-2 or 3-1?

The Hamilton Spectator - - LIVING - BY PHILLIP ALDER

Kevin Nealon, an ac­tor and co­me­dian best re­mem­bered for his time on “Satur­day Night Live,” said, “I was born in St. Louis; I lived there for three weeks, and then my fa­ther grad­u­ated from St. Louis Uni­ver­sity, so we all got in the car and split.”

This deal was played in St. Louis. In it, de­clarer had to de­cide how the trumps were split­ting. What did he do in four spades af­ter West led a trump, and East cov­ered dummy’s jack with the queen? What would South have done if West had led the heart king?

In the bid­ding, West might have jumped to three (or four!) hearts, but his hand looked too strong for a pre-empt. North’s three-club re­bid in prin­ci­ple de­nied three-card spade sup­port, be­cause with that, he could have made a sup­port dou­ble. Then, over East’s jump to four hearts, South judged that as his part­ner was clearly very short in hearts, he rated to have two spades. West was dis­suaded by the un­fa­vor­able vul­ner­a­bil­ity from bid­ding five hearts.

Usu­ally a player will not lead a sin­gle­ton trump. So, de­clarer was tempted to play a sec­ond round of spades. Here, though, that would have been fa­tal. Some­how sens­ing the sit­u­a­tion, South im­me­di­ately played on clubs. East ruffed the third round with his spade 10, but de­clarer had dis­carded his di­a­mond losers. When East shifted to a heart, South ruffed in the dummy and lost only one spade and two hearts.

Af­ter a heart lead, de­clarer ruffs in the dummy, cashes the spade king and plays high clubs, dis­card­ing three losers. He takes seven trumps, two clubs and the heart ruff.

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

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