The Asian Age - - Coffee-break - PHILLIP ALDER

First of all, I hope all of my Amer­i­can read­ers have as fun an In­de­pen­dence Day as is pos­si­ble in the cir­cum­stances.

Hunt­ing for luck quo­ta­tions, I came upon: "Dili­gence is the mother of good luck." So, get ready to be lucky.

North-South pushed into six spades. Af­ter the suit was agreed, there were three con­trol-bids and a jump to slam. It was a poor con­tract, but nei­ther player did any­thing egre­gious. How did South do due dili­gence af­ter West led the di­a­mond king to dummy's ace?

De­clarer was faced with losers in spades and di­a­monds. He could have banked every­thing on East's hav­ing the spade queen with one or two low trumps. Slightly bet­ter, though, was to take the two top trumps, then, as­sum­ing the queen had not dropped, to switch to clubs, hop­ing that they split 3-3. Then dummy's di­a­mond loser would have dis­ap­peared on the club two.

Here, though, when South led a spade, East played the queen. That was surely a sin­gle­ton. No one would have played the queen from queen-dou­ble­ton. This meant that de­clarer was des­tined to lose a trump trick to West. To elim­i­nate the po­ten­tial di­a­mond loser, South had to find clubs 3-3.

He won with the spade ace and cashed his top clubs. When they obliged, de­clarer led his last club and dis­carded dummy's di­a­mond five. West ruffed, but that was the only trick he got. South won the spade re­turn, ruffed his


re­main­ing di­a­mond on the board, played a heart to his ace, drew West's fi­nal trump and claimed.

Copyright United Fea­ture Syn­di­cate (Asia Fea­tures)

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