Bridge

With more than one way to turn

The Signal - - CLASSIFIEDS / WEATHER - By Phillip Alder

Jean Nidetch, the founder of Weight Watch­ers, said, “It’s choice — not chance — that de­ter­mines your destiny.”

At the bridge ta­ble, the math­e­mat­i­cally best line of play may fail when an in­fe­rior ap­proach would have worked — although that al­most never hap­pens in this col­umn.

In to­day’s Danny Klein­man deal, South is in six no-trump. What should he do af­ter a heart lead?

In the auction, four no-trump was quan­ti­ta­tive. Dis­cuss this se­quence with your part­ner.

South starts with eight top tricks: one spade, two hearts, four diamonds and one club. True, he prob­a­bly has six di­a­mond tricks, but he still needs ex­tras from the black suits. Should he start on clubs or spades; and if clubs, how: ace and an­other, or low to the 10, or low to the queen?

If the spade fi­nesse is win­ning (and diamonds are not 5-0), that gets de­clarer up to 12 tricks. But if it loses, South will prob­a­bly need to find a sin­gle­ton club king.

Sim­i­larly, play­ing the ace and an­other club might save a guess (East plays an honor on the sec­ond round), but could leave the contract down one at trick three.

So, it is best to start with dummy’s low club. But what do you do if East plays low smoothly? I would put in the 10 be­cause most Easts with the king, es­pe­cially king-dou­ble­ton, will win the trick, or at least think about it.

Here, the 10 loses to West’s jack, and an­other heart is re­turned. South takes that and plays a club to the ace. When the king does not ap­pear, de­clarer must fall back on the spade fi­nesse and di­a­mond break.

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