Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - YOUR DAILY BREAK - by Phillip Alder


Anne Frank wrote, “How won­der­ful it is that no­body need wait a sin­gle mo­ment be­fore start­ing to im­prove the world.”

We have a won­der­ful con­ven­tion for show­ing a sin­gle card in a suit -- a splin­ter bid. It worked won­ders on this deal. But, first, how should South play in six spades af­ter West leads the club queen?

When South showed four spades (and de­nied four hearts) in an­swer to Stay­man, North jumped to four di­a­monds, a splin­ter bid, in­di­cat­ing at least four-card spade sup­port and game-go­ing val­ues with a sin­gle­ton (or void) in di­a­monds. This slight over­bid was mu­sic to South’s ears, who no longer feared three fast di­a­mond losers. He con­trol-bid four hearts, then jumped to six spades when part­ner set­tled for four spades.

South seems to have one loser in each mi­nor and only 11 win­ners: five spades, four hearts and two clubs. Where might he find an ex­tra trick?

Win­ners most of­ten come from a ruff in the shorter trump hand or es­tab­lish­ment of a long suit. Here, each is im­pos­si­ble. Un­usu­ally, de­clarer must play for ruffs in the longer trump hand.

He wins with his club ace and plays a trump to dummy. (With this lay­out, he must not cash the spade ace or jack.) Then South loses a di­a­mond. Let’s say West wins and leads an­other trump. De­clarer wins on the board, plays a club to his king, ruffs a di­a­mond, leads a heart to the ace, ruffs his last di­a­mond, draws trumps (over­tak­ing dummy’s king with his ace), and claims. He has taken four spades, four hearts, two clubs and those two di­a­mond ruffs.

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