ACES ON BRIDGE

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - NORTHWEST/TELEVISION - BOBBY WOLFF If you would like to con­tact Bobby Wolff, email him at bob­by­wolff@mind­spring.com

No per­son was ever hon­ored for what he re­ceived. Honor has been the re­ward for what he gave.

— Calvin Coolidge I nor­mally like to use deals where virtue is re­warded and care­less­ness pun­ished. That is the case, in a way, with to­day’s deal; how­ever, although it came close to de­cid­ing an in­ter­na­tional match, it did not quite do so. The mar­gin of the match was just one in­ter­na­tional match point in fa­vor of the team who failed to bring home game here. So you could ar­gue that at a dif­fer­ent vul­ner­a­bil­ity, the un­suc­cess­ful de­clarer might not have slept well that night.

At the un­suc­cess­ful de­clarer’s ta­ble, the heart nine was cov­ered by the 10 and ace. South took the los­ing di­a­mond fi­nesse, and East shifted to the spade six, sec­ond high­est, deny­ing a de­cent suit. When de­clarer won in hand and crossed to the di­a­mond ace to pass the club jack, West lost no time in win­ning and play­ing back the heart eight, and now the de­fend­ers had five win­ners.

In the other room, when the heart nine was led, de­clarer cor­rectly ducked in dummy. He won his heart ace and led the di­a­mond queen for the fi­nesse. East won and played back a spade, just as in the other room.

But South made no mis­take when he won with the spade ace, then played the club ace and an­other club. West could win and play the heart eight through dummy, but when dummy cov­ered with the 10, the con­tract was safe.

South had one heart, four clubs and two tricks in each of the other suits — nine in to­tal. AN­SWER: Your part­ner’s raise here is a se­ri­ous game try. I’d ex­pect a hand with at least an ace more than an open­ing bid. Yes, you would rather have a fifth heart or a lit­tle more shape in the mi­nors, but I think you have enough to bid on to game if you trust your part­ner. If part­ner had raised in com­pe­ti­tion, it would not carry the same guar­an­tee of ex­tras.

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