The op­po­nent needs a gen­tle nudge

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - GOINGS ON -

Ring Lard­ner, a sports colum­nist and short-story writer known for his satir­i­cal pen, wrote, “A good many young writ­ers make the mis­take of en­clos­ing a stamped, self-ad­dressed en­ve­lope, big enough for the man­u­script to come back in. This is too much of a temp­ta­tion to the ed­i­tor.”

In this deal, de­clarer must tempt East into er­ror. South is in four spades. West cashes the top three hearts, ev­ery­one fol­low­ing, then shifts to the club seven. How should South con­tinue? Some pairs lead the queen from ace-king-queen. This has the ad­van­tage that when an ace is led at trick one, third hand knows his part­ner has only the ace and king. South was right to bid game with such a good fit and a side-suit sin­gle­ton.

De­clarer must draw trumps safely. If they are 2-1, there will be no prob­lems. But just in case East has all three, South should cross to the board with a di­a­mond and lead specif­i­cally the spade jack, tempt­ing East to cover with the queen. Here, if he does, de­clarer makes his con­tract, fi­ness­ing East out of his spade 10. Or East may think for some time, giv­ing the game away. But if East plays low smoothly, South will win with his ace, not risk­ing go­ing down when West has a sin­gle­ton or dou­ble­ton queen.

If de­clarer leads an un­sup­ported honor from the dummy and you have that card sur­rounded (with at least one more low card), it is (al­most al­ways) wrong to cover.

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