ACES ON BRIDGE

Houston Chronicle - - PUZ­ZLES & TV - By Bobby Wolff

While the ACBL has an ac­tive ju­nior bridge pro­gram, Sil­i­con Val­ley Youth Bridge (SIVY Bridge), co-founded by Deb­bie Rosen­berg, is one of the most suc­cess­ful youth bridge pro­grams in the U.S. right now. Re­cently, SIVY Bridge held two week­long Sum­mer Camps, and the SIVY Youth NABC Spon­sor­ship Pro­gram helped 14 Bay Area kids at­tend the Youth NABC in Chicago. For more in­for­ma­tion, check out their web­site: www.sil­i­con­va­l­leyy­outh­bridge.org. The other night, one of my cor­re­spon­dents had the plea­sure of play­ing an on­line team match against two camp par­tic­i­pants, broth­ers Brent and Rory Xiao, aged 14 and 11, re­spec­tively. They’ve clearly been ex­celling in SIVY Bridge (as well as the USBF Ju­nior train­ing pro­gram), be­cause they played very well through­out the match. Here, de­clarer Rory Xiao played three no-trump on the lead of the club nine to the ace. East ac­cu­rately shifted to a low heart, which went to the queen. Back came a heart to the king, also ducked by South. Now came a third heart, won by South, with a di­a­mond dis­card from dummy.

Rory cashed the club king­jack, led a di­a­mond to the ace, then took the club queen, squeez­ing East out of a spade, since he had to pre­serve the di­a­mond king and his fourth heart (or de­clarer would set up a di­a­mond win­ner). With East down to just three spades, Rory took the spade fi­nesse and cashed out the suit for nine tricks. Note that if de­clarer takes the heart ace pre­ma­turely, East can de­feat the game by dis­card­ing a block­ing heart on the fourth club.

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