A thin hope is bet­ter than none

Cecil Whig - - & & - By Phillip Alder

Des­mond Tutu ( who can play bridge) said, “Hope is be­ing able to see that there is light de­spite all of the dark­ness.”

Oc­ca­sion­ally, when your part­ner has over­bid badly, you seem to be in a dark, hope­less con­tract. Then, you should try to find a lay­out of the op­pos­ing cards that will per­mit you to suc­ceed. In to­day’s deal, South is in three no-trump. West kicks off with fourth-high­est from his spade suit, and East puts up the jack. What should de­clarer do? Did West have a more-ef­fec­tive open­ing lead?

Over North’s take­out dou­ble, South’s jump to three no-trump promised 13-15 points with prefer­ably at least two spade stop­pers.

South starts with only four top tricks: two spades (given trick one) and two clubs. He can es­tab­lish three heart and three di­a­mond win­ners, but that re­quires knock­ing out both of those aces, which must rest in the West hand, given his open­ing bid. If South takes the first trick and plays, say, a di­a­mond, West can snatch the trick and con­tinue with the spade king to set up his suit while he still has the heart ace as an en­try. De­clarer’s only chance is to play low from his hand at trick one, hop­ing that the spades are 6-1, not 5-2. Sup­pose East shifts to a club. South wins on the board and drives out the di­a­mond ace. West con­tin­ues clubs, but de­clarer ducks that trick, takes the third club, and dis­lodges the heart ace. He has nine tricks to cash.

West’s killing lead is the spade king, which would swal­low his part­ner’s jack and leave him on lead to con­tinue with the spade 10 should South play low.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.