BRIDGE

Rome News-Tribune - - YOUNG ROMANS - PHILIP ALDER CELEBRITY CIPHER By Luis Cam­pos DILBERT FRANK AND ERNEST BLONDIE

Su­sanne Bier, a Dan­ish film di­rec­tor, said, “At some stage in most peo­ple’s lives, things turn up­side down, and noth­ing is as you ex­pected it to be.”

That is true, es­pe­cially with per­sonal re­la­tion­ships. At the bridge ta­ble, you some­times play a con­tract up­side down, with the longer trump hold­ing in the dummy, es­pe­cially af­ter a trans­fer bid. In to­day’s deal, how would North have got on in four spades af­ter the heart-nine lead, and how does South do against the heart-king lead?

North made a neg­a­tive dou­ble to show ex­actly four spades. Af­ter that, NorthSouth did well to avoid three no-trump, which would have had no chance. Note also that five di­a­monds is hope­less.

Four spades needs care­ful han­dling, as is usu­ally the case in a 4-3 fit. De­clarer can see 10 win­ners, but he must be able to drive out the di­a­mond ace and

draw trumps with­out los­ing con­trol.

If South wins the first trick, draws trumps and plays on di­a­monds, he goes down in flames, West run­ning his heart suit. If de­clarer leads a di­a­mond at trick two, West can duck this trick, take the sec­ond di­a­mond and give his part­ner a di­a­mond ruff. Then a shift to the club jack would kill the con­tract.

South must let West hold the first trick. If West per­se­veres with a sec­ond heart, de­clarer ruffs in his hand, draws trumps and plays on di­a­monds to get home. He takes at least four spades, four di­a­monds, one club and the heart ruff.

Note that if North is the de­clarer and ducks East’s heart-nine lead, East can shift to the club jack with lethal ef­fect.

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