Bridge

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - LIFE FUN -

Peter Thom­son, an Aus­tralian golfer who won the Bri­tish Open five times, said, “Ev­ery tour­na­ment has its cli­max, its win­ning mo­ment. If you’re not watch­ful, you will miss it and lose your best chance.”

A bridge deal of­ten has its win­ning mo­ment. If you’re not watch­ful, you will err and go down in your con­tract or fail to de­feat the de­clarer. In this deal, South is in five clubs. West leads a low heart, East win­ning with his king and ( best) con­tin­u­ing with the heart ace. How can South pre­vail?

Af­ter South’s strong ar­ti­fi­cial open­ing and North’s weak ar­ti­fi­cial re­sponse, the bid­ding was nat­u­ral. East thought about sac­ri­fic­ing in five hearts, but was dis­suaded by the un­fa­vor­able vul­ner­a­bil­ity. (Five hearts dou­bled should cost 500.)

De­clarer seems to have 11 easy tricks: one spade, five di­a­monds and five clubs. How­ever, to get five di­a­mond tricks, South must draw trumps, un­block his ace and king of di­a­monds, and get to the dummy. What is his dummy en­try?

It is the club eight. But if South ruffs the sec­ond heart in the dummy, that will be the los­ing mo­ment, de­stroy­ing that en­try when the trumps break 3-1, not 2-2. In­stead, de­clarer should dis­card a spade from the board at trick two.

If East con­tin­ues with a third heart, South’s pret­ti­est play is to ruff with his club nine, draw trumps, cash the top di­a­monds, over­take the club seven with dummy’s eight, and run the di­a­monds.

Al­ter­na­tively, South can ruff low, pitch a sec­ond spade from the board, draw trumps, cash his two di­a­monds and spade ace, and en­ter the dummy with a spade ruff.

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