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

Lud­wig Mies van der Rohe said, "Ar­chi­tec­ture starts when you care­fully put two bricks to­gether." A bridge deal starts when you care­fully put 13 cards to­gether. How you play those cards, of course, will de­ter­mine your score on the deal.

To­day, South is in six spades. What should he do af­ter West finds the best lead of a trump?

North's four-club re­bid was a splin­ter: four-card spade sup­port, game-go­ing val­ues and a sin­gle­ton (or void) in clubs. It was a slight over­bid, es­pe­cially since North has such bad trumps. If South had had weak spades and strong clubs, mak­ing three no-trump the best game, it would have been hard to get there over four clubs! But a three-spade re­bid would have been a tad cau­tious. If only he could have bid three-and-twothirds spades.

The win­ning line, as­sum­ing there was one, de­pended upon guess­ing cor­rectly. If trumps were 4-1, de­clarer needed the di­a­mond fi­nesse to be win­ning. But if the spades were the more-likely 3-2, he could af­ford to lose a di­a­mond as long as he took two club ruffs on the board. Then, his 12 tricks would be four spades, two hearts, three di­a­monds, one club and the two ruffs.

How­ever, it was not that straight­for­ward. Af­ter quite some time run­ning dif­fer­ent play se­quences through his mind, South saw the best plan. Af­ter the club ruff at trick three, he led a low di­a­mond from the dummy. East won and played an­other trump, but de­clarer won, ruffed a sec­ond club, took the top hearts, ruffed a heart, drew the miss­ing trump and claimed.

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