An oc­ca­sional gadget oc­ca­sion­ally helps

Cecil Whig - - COMICS & PUZZLES - By Phillip Alder

Sir Win­ston Churchill said, “How­ever beau­ti­ful the strat­egy, you should oc­ca­sion­ally look at the re­sults.”

That ap­plies to bid­ding con­ven­tions -- and not only the re­sults, but also fre­quency. This deal fea­tures a trans­fer into a mi­nor over a oneno-trump open­ing. The fre­quency is not high, but when one does arise, it can re­sult in an ac­cu­rate auc­tion. How do three no-trump and five clubs by South fare? North’s two-spade re­sponse was a trans­fer to clubs. His three-spade re­bid in­di­cated a sin­gle­ton (or void) in that suit. (With four spades and long clubs, North would have re­sponded two clubs, Stay­man.) South was torn at this point. Per­haps they had nine in­stant win­ners for three no-trump, but his sin­gle spade stop­per was wor­ry­ing, and his con­trols (three aces and one king) were great for a high-level club con­tract if part­ner had a solid or semisolid suit.

Here, if South had bid three notrump, he would have gone down, as­sum­ing West led the spade queen. When South ac­tu­ally bid four clubs, North set­tled for game with his min­i­mum.

West led the heart jack. South won with his ace and ran the club nine, los­ing to East’s jack. Back came a heart to dummy’s queen. De­clarer crossed to his hand with a di­a­mond, then led his sec­ond trump. When West played low, should South have called for dummy’s eight or king?

The per­cent­age play was the eight. If East had the club queen­jack, he might have won trick two with ei­ther honor. But with the ace­jack, he had no choice. De­clarer should as­sume East’s play was forced.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.