BRIDGE

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

James Humes, a for­mer pres­i­den­tial speech­writer, said, “One se­cret of lead­er­ship is that the mind of a leader never turns off. Lead­ers, even when they are sight­seers or spec­ta­tors, are ac­tive, not pas­sive ob­servers.”

Some bridge play­ers try to be lead­ers all the time, tak­ing con­trol even when they shouldn’t — as hap­pened in to­day’s deal.

Played at Bridge Base On­line, South had a bor­der­line open­ing bid with such a weak suit. Even if part­ner re­sponded with two di­a­monds (two-over-one game-forc­ing), South had an un­ap­peal­ing re­bid.

Here, North re­sponded two hearts. Then sev­eral Souths re­bid two spades, which was aw­ful! Why not two no-trump?

Over three clubs, South liked his four-card sup­port, but the rest of his hand stank. Un­der­stand­ably, he con­tin­ued with three no-trump. Then North

pon­dered for a while, but fi­nally passed.

Af­ter West led the diamond jack, South saw six top tricks: four hearts and two di­a­monds. He could hope for a fifth heart win­ner, but it looked as though he needed to play clubs for only one loser. So, af­ter win­ning with his diamond queen, de­clarer led a club to the queen.

If East had just won that trick and pas­sively re­turned a diamond, South would have had to guess clubs. How­ever, wish­ing to plow his own fur­row, East shifted to a spade!

West won that trick and re­verted to di­a­monds, but now South had nine win­ners: one spade, five hearts, two di­a­monds and one club.

Play­ing sec­ond fid­dle is of­ten best.

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