Op­ti­mism of­ten leads to dis­ap­point­ment

Cecil Whig - - & & - By Phillip Alder

Leti­tia Lan­don, a 19th-cen­tury English poet and novelist, wrote, “How dis­ap­point­ment tracks the steps of hope!”

All bridge play­ers have had to suf­fer dis­ap­point­ing re­sults. But in some cases, the loss was self­in­flicted, de­clarer be­ing un­duly op­ti­mistic and run­ning into an un­fa­vor­able dis­tri­bu­tion of the cards, one that would not have been fa­tal to the con­tract if he had played more care­fully.

In to­day’s deal, South is in five clubs. What should he do af­ter West leads the heart queen, taken by dummy’s king? As a sec­ondary is­sue, how would three no-trump have fared?

An in­ex­pe­ri­enced player would have bid three no-trump with that North hand and been very dis­ap­pointed when West knew enough to duck the first round of clubs and re­strict de­clarer to a pair of club tricks. If South has seven win­ners, as his pre-empt at un­fa­vor­able vul­ner­a­bil­ity sug­gests, North has the four tricks that jus­tify leap­ing to five clubs. De­clarer should see that he has three po­ten­tial losers in his hand: one spade, one heart and one club. He has only 10 top tricks: two hearts, two di­a­monds and six clubs.

An op­ti­mist would run the club nine at trick two. How­ever, if West is in mid­sea­son form, he will take the trick and re­turn a trump to kill the con­tract.

South must ruff his heart loser on the board. He should cash the heart ace, then exit with a spade to open up a com­mu­ni­ca­tion line to his hand. East does best to take the trick and shift to his trump, but de­clarer wins with his ace, trumps his last heart, ruffs a spade in hand and sets about draw­ing trumps.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.