BRIDGE

The Star Early Edition - - TONIGHT COMICS - Tan­nah Hirsch

DE­FEN­SIVE PRIN­CI­PLE

North-South vul­ner­a­ble. South deals. Open­ing lead: Ace of Clubs

To­day’s deal is from a high-stakes rub­ber bridge game. North-South had a 30-point par­tial and South was hop­ing he could squeeze nine tricks out of this hand and claim the rub­ber. West didn’t think so. West con­tin­ued with a sec­ond club at trick two, ruffed by South. De­clarer led a low heart, play­ing dummy’s king when West played low. A trump was next, South cov­er­ing East’s jack with the queen, los­ing to the king. West ex­ited with another club, again ruffed by South, who cashed his ace-king of di­a­monds and led another heart. This time, West won his ace and con­tin­ued with a heart, won in dummy with the queen. South ruffed another club. With three cards left, de­clarer held the ace-9-6 of trumps and West held the 10-8-7. South ex­ited with a low trump and West was forced to win and lead a trump from his 10-8 into de­clarer’s ace-9. Con­tract made and rub­ber won! De­clarer played this deal with great skill, but the de­fence should have pre­vailed. Can you spot the er­ror? When de­fend­ing against a trump coup or a trump end-play, a de­fender should not help de­clarer re­duce his trump length. It was con­ve­nient for West to play a club after win­ning the trump king, but it was an er­ror. Had he played the ace of hearts fol­lowed by any red card, he could not have been pre­vented from tak­ing two more trump tricks to de­feat the con­tract.

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