BRIDGE

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

It is in­ter­est­ing to read old bridge ar­ti­cles. You see very quickly how the game has pro­gressed, es­pe­cially on de­fense. Life has be­come more sci­en­tific and, there­fore, more ac­cu­rate.

Look at this deal. What do you think of the bid­ding? How should the play pro­ceed in six hearts dou­bled af­ter West leads the spade king?

Be­cause this deal was played sev­eral decades ago, South opened with a strong two hearts, not with an ar­ti­fi­cial and forc­ing two clubs. Af­ter that, there were sev­eral de­bat­able choices. South jumped to four hearts, hop­ing to buy the con­tract. But why not show the club suit? Sim­i­larly, if West had guessed that South was go­ing to pro­ceed to five hearts, he should have bid five di­a­monds over four hearts. Note that, as­sum­ing West guesses spades, it takes a club lead to de­feat seven di­a­monds. Five spades

would have made un­less North led a di­a­mond for South to ruff. Since that would not have been ob­vi­ous, South did well to bid six hearts.

At the ta­ble, West led the spade king. Con­vinced that South would not have bid the slam look­ing at two im­me­di­ate spade losers, West shifted to the di­a­mond king.

De­clarer ruffed, drew trumps and ran the clubs, dis­card­ing dummy’s re­main­ing spade. Then a spade ruff on the board was South’s 12th trick, giv­ing North-South 1,660 points.

To­day, East would have au­to­mat­i­cally given a count sig­nal at trick one, play­ing the three to show an odd num­ber of spades. Then West could not have gone wrong.

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