Bridge

AC­CU­RATE TIM­ING NEEDS AC­CU­RATE PLAY

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

Ed­die Huang, a restau­ra­teur and chef, said, “Peo­ple talk about per­fect tim­ing, but I think ev­ery­thing is per­fect in its mo­ment; you just want to cap­ture that.”

Bridge play­ers know that tim­ing is usu­ally im­por­tant in ev­ery deal. Some­times play­ing the tricks in ex­actly the right or­der is vi­tal, but not al­ways. In this deal, how should South time the play to make four spades af­ter West leads the heart queen?

Four clubs was a splin­ter bid, which showed at least game val­ues in spades with four-card or more sup­port and a sin­gle­ton (or void) in clubs.

South, count­ing his losers, sees four: one in each suit. If de­clarer takes the first trick and plays a trump, which many could not re­sist do­ing, the con­tract fails. East wins and re­turns a heart, which es­tab­lishes a trick for West to cash when in with the club ace. (South should lead a sneaky club jack from his hand, but West ought not to fall for it.)

Since it is im­pos­si­ble to avoid con­ced­ing one spade, one di­a­mond and one club, South must elim­i­nate that heart loser. He needs to dis­card dummy’s third heart on his sec­ond high club. Yes, but de­clarer must time the play per­fectly by win­ning the first trick on the board and lead­ing the club. West takes that trick and per­se­veres in hearts, but South wins with his king and cashes the club queen to per­mit dummy’s last heart to be evicted.

De­clarer takes four spades, two hearts, one di­a­mond, two clubs and a late heart ruff in the dummy.

Fi­nally, note that if South wins trick one in his hand, he goes down.

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