Bridge

Country Life Every Week - - BRIDGE CROSSWORD - An­drew Rob­son

WE fea­ture two slams this week from rub­ber bridge (ac­tu­ally, Chicago, but same thing re­ally) at £30 per hun­dred. It need hardly be said that mis­takes would be very ex­pen­sive.

Dealer South Nei­ther vul­ner­a­ble

with his Heart (of course, West re­ally won it). Slam made.

De­clarer had a blind spot on our sec­ond deal, a grand slam. (1) Rule of 20 opener—the high­card points in the hand added to the num­ber of cards in the two long­est suits reach­ing 20. (2) No need to rush. North goes slowly to hear his part­ner’s nat­u­ral re­bid. (3) May con­tinue to progress slowly. How­ever, the vast ma­jor­ity of the time, part­ner will hold six Di­a­monds for the re­peat, so the prac­ti­cal jump to Six Di­a­monds has much go­ing for it. Here, South has only five (good ones, mind), but Six Di­a­monds is the only make­able slam.

West led his sin­gle­ton ten of Hearts, de­clarer win­ning dummy’s King and cross­ing to his AceKing-queen of Di­a­monds, hop­ing for a three-three split and 12 top tricks. He threw a Club from dummy on the third and watched East also dis­card (a Heart). It ap­pears that de­clarer is a trick short, but watch.

De­clarer cashed the Queen of Spades and crossed to the Aceking-knave, hop­ing that West would fol­low all the way (a ne­c­es­sary re­quire­ment for suc­cess, given that he had four Di­a­monds). He did fol­low. De­clarer had thrown a Club and a Heart from hand and now cashed the Ace of Clubs and ruffed a Club. He then led up a sec­ond Heart.

It would do West no good to ruff in front of dummy, so he dis­carded a Club. De­clarer won dummy’s Ace and ruffed a third Club with his last trump.

De­clarer had gar­nered the first 12 tricks, leav­ing both op­po­nents (in a sense) to score the last trick, West with his trump and East

Dealer South North-south vul­ner­a­ble

De­clarer won West’s King of Di­a­monds open­ing lead with dummy’s Ace. He drew trumps, then hur­riedly cashed three rounds of Spades to dis­card his Di­a­mond loser. He cashed the Ace of Clubs (in case of a sin­gle­ton Queen), ruffed a Di­a­mond back to hand, then led up a sec­ond Club. It was the per­cent­age play at this point to fi­nesse dummy’s Knave and that is what de­clarer did. Down one, when East scooped up the trick with his Queen.

You couldn’t blame de­clarer for pre­fer­ring the Club fi­nesse at the point he had reached. His mis­take had come ear­lier. In­stead of dis­card­ing a Di­a­mond on dummy’s third Spade, he should have dis­carded a Club. He now plays Aceking of Clubs. Here, the Queen falls and he is home. More likely, the Queen will not fall.

De­clarer now ruffs a third Club, hop­ing for a 3–3 split. If that proves to be the case, he can cross to dummy and cash the long Club, dis­card­ing his los­ing Di­a­mond.

Play­ing the rec­om­mended way suc­ceeds when the Queen of Clubs falls in three rounds, bet­ter than the 50–50 Club fi­nesse. Only just mind, which is why de­clarer is en­ti­tled to feel some­what ag­grieved that he had turned a po­ten­tial +2,210 into –100— a swing of £700-odd. (1) Weak two, so much more fre­quent than the tra­di­tional, stronger va­ri­ety. Do you play them? You re­ally should. (2) Not guar­an­teed, but just the King of Hearts and Queen of Clubs op­po­site will yield 13 top tricks.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.