The Mercury (Pottstown, PA) - - YOUR DAILY BREAK - by Phillip Alder

Philip Dormer Stan­hope, 4th Earl of Ch­ester­field, was a Bri­tish states­man who died in 1773. He said, “Never seem more learned than the peo­ple you are with. Wear your learn­ing like a pocket watch and keep it hid­den. Do not pull it out to count the hours, but give the time when you are asked.”

When you pull cards out of a du­pli­cate board (or pick them up after shuf­fling and deal­ing), you count your high-card points. Then, as­sum­ing part­ner bids, you add his count to yours and de­cide how high to bid. In the play, you count win­ners and losers.

In this deal, how should South play in four spades after West an­noy­ingly leads a trump?

South’s two-club re­bid was New Mi­nor Forc­ing. North then showed three-card spade sup­port.

De­clarer has to lose only two spades and one heart. With, say, a club lead, he would have im­me­di­ately played the ace and an­other heart. East would have taken that trick and shifted to the spade king, but South would have won with his ace, ruffed his last heart and played an­other trump to get home.

Now that line will not work. In­stead, South ducks the first trick, takes East’s spade con­tin­u­a­tion with the ace, un­blocks the club ace and uses dummy’s three di­a­mond en­tries to ruff clubs in his hand. Then he cashes the heart ace be­fore lead­ing his di­a­mond jack. If East dis­cards on this, it is de­clarer’s 10th trick; or, if East ruffs, dummy’s last trump be­comes a win­ner. South takes one spade, one heart, three di­a­monds, one club, three club ruffs in hand and that ex­tra trick. It is a dummy re­ver­sal.

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