The rule is for de­fend­ers

Cecil Whig - - & & - By Phillip Alder

Al­fred No­bel, he of the prize and dy­na­mite, said, “Sec­ond to agri­cul­ture, hum­bug is the big­gest in­dus­try of our age.” As you are aware, bridge is full of adages that are aimed at de­fend­ers. But some less ex­pe­ri­enced play­ers think that they also ap­ply to de­clarer -- hum­bug. That be­lief cost a game con­tract in this deal. South was in three no-trump. Af­ter West led a fourth-high­est club two, what should have hap­pened? North was right to open one heart, not one no-trump. Strain to show a five-card ma­jor. Here, North had no spade stop­per, no tenaces and a com­fort­able re­bid. South’s twono-trump re­bid invited game, show­ing a de­cent 10 to 12 points and some­thing in the un­bid club suit. North had an easy raise.

The orig­i­nal South im­me­di­ately re­mem­bered “sec­ond hand low,” so he played dummy’s club four and took the trick with his eight -more hum­bug, since the con­tract could no longer be made. Too late, de­clarer counted up his win­ners. He saw six: one heart, two di­a­monds and three clubs. An­other four tricks were es­tab­lish­able in spades, so South was not wor­ried. At trick two, he led a low spade to­ward dummy’s 10. How­ever, West knew that de­fend­ers usu­ally play sec­ond hand low. West took the next spade and ex­ited with a club to dummy’s ace. Even­tu­ally de­clarer went down two. As you have no­ticed, South, af­ter driv­ing out the spade ace, needed a hand en­try to cash the re­main­ing spades. Since his only side win­ner was the club king, he had to win trick one with dummy’s club ace. Then he could have played on spades and cruised home.

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