ACES ON BRIDGE

Houston Chronicle - - PUZZLES & TV - By Bobby Wolff

One of the les­sons we are all taught at our mother’s knee is to re­tain con­trol of the trump suit. But there are some deals where we go out of our way to sur­ren­der trump con­trol. Although th­ese hands may be few and far be­tween, they pos­sess an un­mis­tak­able el­e­gance. Let me show you one of them in to­day’s deal. It might have worked bet­ter for South to dou­ble three hearts for take­out. North would have passed it out and led a trump, hold­ing West to seven tricks. But, nat­u­rally, South bid spades, and North guessed to raise to game. Against four spades, West led the heart king and shifted to the di­a­mond five. With both di­a­monds and spades ly­ing so un­fa­vor­ably, you might think de­clarer would now have his work cut out. Cu­ri­ously, though, de­clarer has a road map of the lie of the hearts and can come to 10 tricks with­out a fi­nesse. He wins the di­a­mond ace, takes a heart ruff, then cashes the spade queen and leads a spade to the ace to take a sec­ond heart ruff. Now East is out of hearts, while South is out of trumps. Un­per­turbed, De­clarer crosses to a top club and takes dummy’s re­main­ing top spade, then presses on with clubs. East might as well ruff in, af­ter which he does best to lead away from his di­a­mond queen. South wins his jack and re­verts to clubs to es­tab­lish his 10th trick one way or an­other.

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