Bridge

AVOID BE­ING TRAPPED IN THE WRONG HAND

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

Steven Wright said, “Some­one asked me, if I were stranded on a desert is­land, what book would I bring ... ‘How to Build a Boat.’”

In bridge, one oc­ca­sion­ally gets stranded on a desert is­land -- the wrong hand. In this deal, South was in six spades, and West led the heart 10. What hap­pened?

North’s re­sponse of two notrump was the Jacoby Forc­ing Raise. South’s four-spade re­bid in­di­cated a min­i­mum with no side-suit sin­gle­ton or void. North used Ro­man Key Card Black­wood to learn that his part­ner had two key cards (an ace and the trump king, or two aces) and the trump queen.

It is easy to get care­less on this deal. South seems to have 12 tricks: four spades, two hearts, three di­a­monds, two clubs and a heart ruff in the dummy.

That is ex­actly what the orig­i­nal de­clarer thought. He led a trump from the board at trick two ... and could no longer make the con­tract! Af­ter tak­ing this trick, South played a heart to dummy’s ace and led an­other trump. How­ever, East won with his ace and ex­ited with a trump. South ruffed his heart jack with dummy’s last trump, but was stranded on the board. When he tried to take the club ace and club king, East in­con­sid­er­ately ruffed to de­feat the slam.

At trick two, South should cash the heart ace. Then he plays a trump. As­sum­ing he wins that in hand, he ruffs the heart jack and leads an­other trump, which East does best to duck. Now, though, de­clarer plays a club to the ace and cashes the di­a­mond king-queen be­fore lead­ing dummy’s last trump. East has no de­fense.

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