Try to pic­ture a win­ning lay­out

The Star Democrat - - COMICS & PUZZLES - By Phillip Alder

Vin­cent Van Gogh, whose paint­ings I re­ally en­joy, said, “A good pic­ture is equiv­a­lent to a good deed.”

If you were the de­clarer in to­day’s deal and made your three-no-trump con­tract, part­ner would cer­tainly think it was a good deed. Well, what should South do after West leads the spade king?

North added a cou­ple of ex­tra points for his long suit and took a shot at three no-trump. Note that five di­a­monds had no chance. South seems to have nine win­ners via one spade, six di­a­monds and two clubs. But the bad di­a­mond break is trou­bling.

De­clarer ducks the first two spades, takes the third spade, cashes the di­a­mond king and con­tin­ues with the di­a­mond jack, plan­ning on over­tak­ing with dummy’s queen. But West’s heart dis­card is a nasty deed. What now? South has to let his di­a­mond jack hold the trick, then try to get into the dummy to cash the rest of the di­a­monds. The easy part to pic­ture is that East must have the heart ace and heart king. De­clarer also needs spades to be 5-3, not 4-4. But then comes the step that is much harder to re­al­ize. He also needs East to have at most a dou­ble­ton club.

At tricks six and seven, de­clarer must cash his club win­ners. Then he leads a low heart to dummy’s 10 or over­takes his jack with dummy’s queen. Here, East can­not de­feat the con­tract.

Did you no­tice the very dif­fi­cult deed missed by West? If, at trick three, he had shifted to a heart, East could have played three rounds of the suit to kill dummy’s en­try.

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