The temp­ta­tion must be re­sisted

Cecil Whig - - & & - By Phillip Alder

Rev­erend W.M. Tay­lor said, “Temp­ta­tion rarely comes in work­ing hours. It is in their leisure time that men are made or marred.”

For most play­ers, bridge is a leisure-time ac­tiv­ity; it is work only for the pros. How­ever, both some­times face a tempt­ing play that is wrong. Those who can re­sist that temp­ta­tion will, in the­ory at least, do bet­ter. In to­day’s deal, what is the tempt­ing play that East must re­sist? South is in three no-trump, and West leads a fourth-high­est spade four. It was nor­mal for North to em­ploy Stay­man to try to find a 4-4 heart fit; but when South de­nied a ma­jor, all North had done was give the de­fend­ers ex­tra in­for­ma­tion about de­clarer’s hand. At trick one, many an East would cover dummy’s spade five with the seven. How­ever, when third hand’s high­est card is be­low a nine, he should re­sist the temp­ta­tion to play third hand high; he should give count. So, with a triple­ton, he should play his low­est: here, the two. Even if dummy’s five wins the trick (de­clarer hav­ing started with, say, K-J-3), it will not mat­ter.

In this deal, though, when West learns that his part­ner has three spades (it can­not be one, be­cause South de­nied four spades in the auc­tion), he knows South be­gan with king-jack-dou­ble­ton. So, when in with the club king, he cashes his spade ace to drop the king and runs the suit to de­feat the con­tract. Note that this give-count play ap­plies to both no-trump and suit con­tracts. Play low with an odd num­ber or high with an even num­ber.


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