BRIDGE

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

Joseph Ad­di­son, an English writer and politi­cian who died in 1719, said, “The hours of a wise man are length­ened by his ideas.”

A bridge part­ner­ship’s life­span is length­ened when both play­ers have good ideas at the ta­ble.

In yes­ter­day’s deal, East needed to work out de­clarer’s dis­tri­bu­tion to find the killing de­fense. Here is an­other ex­am­ple. What hap­pens in four hearts after West leads the spade queen?

The auc­tion fol­lowed a straight­for­ward path, with North mak­ing a game-in­vi­ta­tional limit raise.

South plays low from the board at trick one, and East en­cour­ages with the eight. West con­tin­ues with the spade jack and a third spade, de­clarer ruff­ing in his hand. South draws two rounds of trumps, West dis­card­ing the club eight. De­clarer con­tin­ues with the club ace and club king. Then he gets off play with a trump. What should East lead to trick

nine?

Since dummy has only red-col­ored cards left, there will be a nat­u­ral re­ac­tion for East to shift to a di­a­mond. But a wise player will an­a­lyze the whole deal first.

Could South have be­gun with three clubs?

Most un­likely, be­cause he would have ruffed his loser on the board. If that is true, South must have started with 2=5=4=2 shape. This means that the cor­rect de­fense is to exit with ei­ther a club or a spade, con­ced­ing a use­less ruff-and-sluff. This can­not give away the con­tract, and will be the win­ner here. The de­fend­ers get two spades, one heart and one di­a­mond. If in­stead East leads a di­a­mond, de­clarer gets home by fol­low­ing the odds, as­sum­ing each de­fender has one di­a­mond honor.

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