Color­less col­lec­tion coun­sels cau­tion

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - GOINGS ON -

Charles Caleb Colton, an ec­cen­tric English cleric who be­came a wine mer­chant and gam­bler, and com­mit­ted sui­cide in 1832, said, “De­lib­er­ate with cau­tion, but act with de­ci­sion; and yield with gra­cious­ness, or op­pose with firm­ness.”

Bridge play­ers with bal­anced hands should act with cau­tion, be­cause the losers tend not to evap­o­rate. In this deal, North’s three-notrump re­sponse showed 13-15 points with 4-3-3-3 dis­tri­bu­tion, three-card heart sup­port and a hand that might play bet­ter in three no-trump than in four hearts — per­fect. What should South have done then?

He had slam po­ten­tial, but how much club power was wasted in part­ner’s hand? It would have been great if South could have re­bid four clubs to show his sin­gle­ton, but no one has that agree­ment. In­stead, South con­trol-bid four di­a­monds. Maybe North should have set­tled for four hearts, but he con­tin­ued with five clubs. Then South, with the spade king, took a shot at six hearts.

Now the spot­light moved to West. What should he have led?

Some­times, you must lead an ace to beat a small slam; at oth­ers, lead­ing that ace is fa­tal — more of­ten the lat­ter is true, I be­lieve.

Here, any card but a spade de­feats six hearts, as­sum­ing when de­clarer leads a spade to­ward dummy’s queen, West plays his nine, which must be cor­rect. If East has the king, he will take the trick. If South has the king (as the bid­ding sug­gests), ris­ing with the ace gives de­clarer two spade tricks; wait­ing hope­fully gives West two win­ners with his ace and jack. Then South will rue not hav­ing the di­a­mond 10.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from China

© PressReader. All rights reserved.