ACES ON BRIDGE

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

In to­day’s auc­tion, as South, you break North’s trans­fer to hearts to show four trumps and a non-min­i­mum. Then, over a four-di­a­mond cue-bid, you show your spade con­trol and jump to slam when part­ner de­nies a club con­trol. Rus­tic per­haps, but the fi­nal con­tract is a good one.

Against six hearts, the de­fend­ers lead a trump. When dummy comes down, it would be easy to re­lax and to try to rely on tak­ing the black suit fi­nesses — which give you at least a 75 per­cent chance of com­ing home with 12 tricks. But you can do bet­ter. While there may be more than one line that suc­ceeds here, the neat­est play in­volves an elim­i­na­tion, which brings you in at close to a 100 per­cent chance of suc­cess.

You care­fully rise with the ace, un­block the di­a­mond hon­ors, come to the heart king (pre­serv­ing dummy’s five) then cash the di­a­mond queen to pitch a club, then play the ace and an­other club, ruff­ing high in dummy.

Now you lead the heart five to the six, ruff the last club in dummy, and have re­duced to an end­ing where both the North and South hands have three spades and a trump. When you lead a spade to the 10 and queen, West must sur­ren­der. He can ei­ther lead a spade into the tenace or give you a ruff-sluff if he has a mi­nor suit to exit with. No mat­ter what he does, you have the rest.

AN­SWER: The re­dou­ble on this se­quence sug­gests play­ing in two clubs re­dou­bled. Even though you have great con­trols, are you pre­pared to play a 4-2 (or pos­si­bly 3-2) fit? Your part­ner might have opened one club with four and a de­cent suit — given that we know his di­a­monds are clearly weak. I’d just bid two hearts, which is nat­u­ral and forc­ing af­ter us­ing fourth suit.

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