This un­der­lines bridge ex­perts

Cecil Whig - - & & -

By Phillip Alder Niels Bohr said, “An ex­pert is a man who has made all the mis­takes that can be made in a very nar­row field.” A bridge ex­pert would not make mis­takes in this week’s deals, be­cause he al­ways keeps track of high-card points -- dur­ing the auc­tion and as the play pro­gresses.

This deal is rel­a­tively straight­for­ward. Look at the North-South hands and the bid­ding. How should South plan the play in three no-trump af­ter West leads a heart?

South should over­call one notrump, not make a take­out dou­ble. Yes, he would pre­fer a sec­ond heart stop­per, but he has to do the best he can and hope part­ner ta­bles a few use­ful good­ies. Here, North has an easy raise to game. Re­mem­ber to be ag­gres­sive in th­ese sit­u­a­tions be­cause part­ner will be able to place the cards ac­cu­rately from the bid­ding. West leads the heart three, low from a triple­ton in a suit part­ner bid that he did not sup­port. This is the one time low from length does not prom­ise an honor in the suit. De­clarer has six top tricks: three spades, one heart, one diamond and one club. A suc­cess­ful fi­nesse in ei­ther mi­nor will bring in the ex­tra three win­ners that he needs. But which fi­nesse should he take?

There are only 13 high-card points miss­ing, so East must have both of the mi­nor-suit kings. There­fore, when South wins with the heart ace, he crosses to the club ace, and takes the diamond fi­nesse three times. Keep count­ing and track­ing the high-card points.

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