BRIDGE

Do your best and hope for the best

Porterville Recorder - - GAR­DEN­ING - by Phillip Alder

Her­bert Rap­pa­port, who was an Aus­trian-so­viet screen­writer and film di­rec­tor, said, “I hope that while so many peo­ple are out smelling the flow­ers, some­one is tak­ing the time to plant some.”

Bridge play­ers, usu­ally de­clar­ers, some­times hope that the de­fend­ers are too busy smelling the roses to find the killing de­fense.

In this deal, South is in three no-trump. West leads a fourth-high­est di­a­mond two, and East plays his six un­der dummy’s seven. What should hap­pen after that?

I agree with South’s open­ing bid. He was right to add one point for the ex­cel­lent five-card club suit. Then North used a text­book trans­fer se­quence.

South starts with eight top tricks: two hearts, one di­a­mond (trick one) and five clubs. At trick two, he should lead a di­a­mond straight back. (Here, be­cause it looks as though West has the di­a­mond ace, prob­a­bly de­clarer should win ini­tially with his di­a­mond nine and re­turn the three.)

Now the spot­light falls on East (es­pe­cially if South leads the di­a­mond 10 from the dummy at trick two). He must win with his ace and shift to the spade two, hav­ing placed the spade ace with his part­ner. Then the de­fend­ers can take one di­a­mond and four spades. Note that West can help by drop­ping a dra­matic di­a­mond jack at trick two, his high­est card sig­nal­ing for the high­est-rank­ing suit.

At one ta­ble, South un­wisely played three rounds of hearts. East clev­erly un­blocked his queen un­der dummy’s king, so West won trick four with his heart jack. Get­ting the mes­sage, he cashed the spade ace and played an­other round for down one.

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