Bridge

SAFETY FIRST, SUC­CESS SEC­OND

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

Dudley Moore said, “The best car safety de­vice is a rear-view mir­ror with a cop in it.”

At the bridge ta­ble, the care­ful driver -- de­clarer -- who ac­com­mo­dates as many lay­outs as pos­si­ble will come out ahead in the long run, even if some­times an in­fe­rior line would have also worked.

In to­day’s deal, West leads the club king against six hearts. What should South do?

North’s four-heart jump-re­bid promised four or more trumps and de­nied an ace, a king, a void or a sin­gle­ton. It could have been made with zero points, so South’s jump to six hearts was a tad op­ti­mistic.

When the dummy ap­peared, South was very pleased with him­self. He seemed to have 12 tricks via two spades, five hearts, four di­a­monds and one club. What could pos­si­bly go wrong?

The risk was a bad di­a­mond break.

Maybe East or West held a sin­gle­ton di­a­mond honor, but South saw that he did not need to be that lucky. He won with his club ace, drew two rounds of trumps, un­blocked his high spades, crossed to dummy with a trump, and ruffed the last spade. With his prepa­ra­tions nearly com­plete, de­clarer cashed the di­a­mond ace, then led his re­main­ing club. What hap­pened next?

If the de­fender win­ning the trick led a spade or a club, South would have sluffed one of his low di­a­monds and ruffed on the board to gain an ex­tra trump trick. Or, if that de­fender played a di­a­mond, any di­a­mond, de­clarer would have played sec­ond hand low and would have had no di­a­mond loser. Clever!

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