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

Dou­glas Adams, in “The Hitch­hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy,” wrote, “Space is big. You just won’t be­lieve how vastly, hugely, mind-bog­glingly big it is. I mean, you may think it’s a long way down the road to the chemist, but that’s just peanuts to space.”

When you are declar­ing a bridge deal, you try to find the safest road to make your con­tract. How­ever, even if you choose the one that is math­e­mat­i­cally best, you might end up in a black hole, go­ing down be­cause you were un­lucky. Still, it is amaz­ing how in bridge col­umns, the right ap­proach works!

What should South do in four hearts af­ter West cashes his two top spades, then shifts to the di­a­mond jack?

Although that South hand con­tains only 11 high-card points, it is well worth a one-level open­ing bid, with that ex­cel­lent six-card suit, two aces and no re­bid prob­lem.

South can see four losers: two spades and two di­a­monds. He has only nine top tricks: six hearts, one di­a­mond and two clubs. He must play to es­tab­lish a third club win­ner. But, be­cause he will prob­a­bly have to ruff two low clubs in his hand, he must be care­ful with his dummy en­tries.

De­clarer wins the third trick with his di­a­mond ace and cashes the heart ace. But then he turns his at­ten­tion to the clubs. He plays a club to the king, cashes the ace, ruffs a club high, leads a low heart to dummy’s nine, ruffs an­other club high, crosses to the heart king (draw­ing West’s last trump in the process), and dis­cards a di­a­mond on the win­ning club seven.

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