Bridge

WHAT WAS DUMMY’S CRIT­I­CAL SPOT-CARD?

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

Alan Perlis, a com­puter sci­en­tist and pro­fes­sor at Yale Univer­sity, said, “It is against the grain of mod­ern ed­u­ca­tion to teach chil­dren to pro­gram. What fun is there in mak­ing plans, ac­quir­ing dis­ci­pline in or­ga­niz­ing thoughts, de­vot­ing at­ten­tion to de­tail, and learn­ing to be self-crit­i­cal?”

A bridge player should think like a pro­gram­mer, go­ing from trick to trick as if fol­low­ing a flow di­a­gram. Do you win this trick? Yes, then do this; no, then later do that. How did South pro­gram the play in this deal to max­i­mize his chance of mak­ing four spades af­ter West led the heart queen?

North’s two-no-trump re­sponse over West’s take­out dou­ble was the Tr­us­cott con­ven­tion: four-card or longer spade sup­port and at least game-in­vi­ta­tional val­ues.

South had four pos­si­ble losers: one heart, one di­a­mond and two clubs. He had nine win­ners: six spades, one heart and two di­a­monds. Was the club ace in the East hand? Not likely, given West’s dou­ble, and es­pe­cially since the heart king was marked with East from West’s lead.

De­clarer de­cided that he should try to end­play West. South played low from the dummy at trick one,

If West had had ace-queen-third of clubs, it would have been right for East to over­take with his heart king and shift to the club jack, but that would not have worked here.

South took the sec­ond heart, drew trumps end­ing on the board, ruffed the heart 10, and played three rounds of di­a­monds. His luck was in: West had to win the trick and ei­ther lead away from the club ace or con­cede a ruff-and-sluff.

the first key step.

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