Bridge

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

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.

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