BRIDGE

The Star Early Edition - - TONIGHT COMICS - Tan­nah Hirsch

RE­MARK­ABLE PLAY Nei­ther vul­ner­a­ble. North deals. Open­ing lead: Nine of Di­a­monds

East cap­tured dummy’s king of di­a­monds with the ace at trick one, and with noth­ing bet­ter to do, re­turned the jack of di­a­monds. West ruffed and led a heart through the board’s king for down one. This am­bi­tious con­tract prob­a­bly got what it de­served, but can you see a way for de­clarer to im­prove his chances? The de­fence can al­ways pre­vail, but South can make it very dif­fi­cult for them by duck­ing the open­ing di­a­mond lead in dummy and al­low­ing the jack to win the first trick! De­clarer side five-card di­a­mond suit is un­known to the de­fend­ers, and it will be a very well-kept se­cret in­deed if South ducks the open­ing lead. What de­clarer would make that play hold­ing 10 di­a­monds? Should East con­tinue with the ace of di­a­monds, can West re­ally be­lieve that part­ner is now out of di­a­monds? West would have to ruff his part­ner’s ace to de­feat the con­tract. East could also refuse to win the first trick with the jack, and rather win with ace and re­turn the jacks for West to ruff. Hon­estly, would you find that play? The di­a­mond lead does look like a sin­gle­ton, but that would be a ma­jes­tic play. This bril­liant play, on a some­what dif­fer­ent lie of the other suits, was found re­cently by a young Dutch player, Bob Donker­sloot. We’ll be on the look­out for this young man in the fu­ture!

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