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

Ge­orge Eliot, a 19th-cen­tury English nov­el­ist whose real name was Mary Ann Evans, wrote, "Life is mea­sured by the ra­pid­ity of change, the suc­ces­sion of in­flu­ences that mod­ify the be­ing."

In bridge, if you have to change suits, do it rapidly. In today's deal, South is in five hearts. West leads the spade king. South wins with his ace, draws trumps in two rounds (West dis­card­ing a low club), and re­turns a spade. Af­ter East com­pletes a high-low with his dou­ble­ton, what should West do?

In the bid­ding, North's jump to three hearts was pre-emp­tive. With game-in­vi­ta­tional val­ues (or more), he would have cue­bid three clubs. East's raise to four clubs was brave (es­pe­cially given that he had no singleton or void), but the vul­ner­a­bil­ity was in his fa­vor. Then, when South bid game, West sac­ri­ficed in five clubs. Since South did not have a short suit, prob­a­bly he should have dou­bled. If South had ob­tained a diamond ruff (which would have been a tough as­sign­ment), the con­tract would have gone down three.

At trick five, West was not sure what to do. If East had the club ace, lead­ing that suit would have likely re­sulted in down two. Here, though, it would have cost the con­tract. In­stead, West shifted to a diamond, which gave the de­fend­ers two spades and one diamond. But if it turned out that South had the ace-queen of di­a­monds, when West got in with his spade queen, he would have tried a club. As­sum­ing East had the ace, this de­fense would have cost only an un­der­trick.

If some­thing else has oc­curred to you, tune in to­mor­row.

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