DON’T BE DISTRACTED FROM THE MATH
Randy K. Milholland, a web comic author, said, “Typos are very important to all written form. They give the reader something to look for so they aren’t distracted by the total lack of content in your writing.”
At times, a bridge player may be distracted by an opponent’s well-timed falsecard. Then, usually, relying on the mathematics will hold him in good stead.
Today, South is in three spades. What is the best defense? How should South play?
North’s negative double showed four spades. East’s balancing double indicated a maximum raise with three-card heart support. (With four hearts, he would have competed to three hearts, getting to the ninetrick level with nine trumps.) When West ran to three hearts, North did well to take the push to three spades because three hearts would have made (with an overtrick if North had led a spade).
West led the heart ace: three, two (discouraging), jack. When West continued with the heart queen, East played his 10, the higher card asking for a diamond shift, the higher-ranking of the other two side suits. West did as asked, so East took two tricks in the suit before exiting with a club to dummy’s eight.
South had to play the trump suit without loss. This seemed to require East’s having kingdoubleton, but when declarer played a spade to his jack, West dropped a sneaky 10. He was trying to look like someone with 10-ninedoubleton. However, South knew that that was much less likely than a singleton 10 or 10-9-x. Declarer ruffed his third diamond in the dummy and led the spade eight, planning to run it. But when the king appeared, he claimed.