Bridge

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

THE NAT­U­RAL PLAY FAILS -- NAT­U­RALLY

Mark Twain claimed, “A hu­man be­ing has a nat­u­ral de­sire to have more of a good thing than he needs.”

That oc­curs at the bridge ta­ble when a player, usu­ally the de­clarer, de­cides, for ex­am­ple, that he needs a suit to split fa­vor­ably or a fi­nesse to work, when in fact he can make his con­tract de­spite a bad break or a los­ing fi­nesse.

What should South do in six hearts after West leads the spade nine?

When North raised hearts, South de­cided that slam could be any­thing from hope­less to lay­down, and see­ing no way to find out for sure, he went for the jack­pot.

South starts with 11 top tricks: seven hearts, one di­a­mond, two clubs and a club ruff on the board. So, nat­u­rally, he thought that he needed the di­a­mond fi­nesse. How­ever, East’s bid had re­duced the chance that that fi­nesse would suc­ceed. All of a sud­den, he saw the win­ning line, which just as­sumed that West had led top of noth­ing.

In­stead of mak­ing the nat­u­ral play of cov­er­ing the spade nine with dummy’s jack, South played a low spade and ruffed in his hand. He drew trumps and elim­i­nated the clubs (king, ace, ruff). Then he led the spade queen from the board, and when East cov­ered with his ace, de­clarer dis­carded a di­a­mond. What could East have done now?

If he led a club (con­ced­ing a ruff-and-sluff) or a di­a­mond (into the ace-queen), South would have claimed. When he tried ex­it­ing with a low spade, de­clarer pitched an­other di­a­mond from his hand and won with dummy’s jack. Slam bid and made, nat­u­rally.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.