De­clarer suf­fers from a strip

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - GOINGS ON -

Bil Keane, who started the “Fam­ily Cir­cus” car­toon, said, “I think it’s a nov­elty for car­toon char­ac­ters to cross over into an­other strip or panel oc­ca­sion­ally.” Some car­toon­ists do that with hu­mor. Bill Amend’s “FoxTrot” comes to my mind.

We have a strip in bridge too, when a player is forced to lead away from an honor and lose a trick in the process. Usu­ally it is ex­e­cuted by de­clarer, but some­times the de­fend­ers can de­nude de­clarer.

In to­day’s deal, how do the de­fend­ers de­feat four spades by two tricks af­ter West leads the di­a­mond 10?

In the auc­tion, South judged that he was a tad too strong to open four spades. North’s re­dou­ble promised at least 10 points and fewer than four spades. Then, ei­ther North-South bought the con­tract or East-West played in some­thing dou­bled for penalty. Af­ter East jumped to show his long club suit, South bid what he hoped he could make. (Note that five clubs dou­bled should cost 800.)

The de­fend­ers must take one spade, two hearts, one di­a­mond and one club. But to get those heart tricks, East-West must keep de­clarer out of the dummy; oth­er­wise, he can play a heart to his 10 (an easy guess, given West’s take­out dou­ble).

Af­ter the di­a­mond-10 lead, East plays low. (If he wins, South un­blocks his king and later over­takes his jack with dummy’s queen.) Sup­pose South con­tin­ues with his club. West wins, cashes the spade ace and plays a sec­ond di­a­mond. East takes that trick and ex­its with his last trump, end­play­ing South in his hand to lead away from the heart king-10.

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