Con­tract Bridge

The Sentinel-Record - - COMICS, ETC. - Jay and Steve Becker

It isn’t easy to see how four spades can be made on this deal. With the A-Q of di­a­monds and king of clubs off­side and the hearts not di­vid­ing evenly, it seems South must sooner or later lose a heart, two di­a­monds and a club. But when the deal arose in the 1992 Spin­gold Teams, Peter Boyd found the way to make 10 tricks.

Boyd reached four spades on the bid­ding shown. North’s re­dou­ble of West’s take­out dou­ble promised pre­cisely three­card spade sup­port.

Boyd won the open­ing spade lead in his hand and cashed a sec­ond trump. He was sure West had at least four hearts for his dou­ble, leav­ing East with no more than two hearts.

Quite rea­son­ably, Boyd de­cided he should first try to find East with the dou­ble­ton nine or ten of hearts. In that case, af­ter the nine or ten fell on the sec­ond round of the suit, a third-round fi­nesse of dummy’s eight would per­mit a club or di­a­mond dis­card on the queen.

Ac­cord­ingly, Boyd played the king of hearts at trick three. When West won and shifted to a club, de­clarer put up dummy’s ace and cashed the heart jack, hop­ing to fetch the nine or ten from East. East did not oblige, but Boyd had an­other string to his bow.

At trick six, he led a heart to West’s nine and dummy’s queen, then played the heart eight from dummy and on it dis­carded the jack of clubs! West won with the ten and was end­played. If he re­turned a di­a­mond, de­clarer would score the king, so West ex­ited with a low club. Boyd played dummy’s nine, ruffed East’s king, crossed to dummy’s six of spades and dis­carded a di­a­mond on the club queen to bring home his game.

At the other ta­ble, West led a club against the same con­tract, leav­ing de­clarer no chance, but that should in no way de­tract from Boyd’s su­perla­tive ef­fort at his ta­ble.

To­mor­row: Up­ping the per­cent­ages.

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