Bridge

THE NO. 1 IN­DE­PEN­DENT BRIDGE MAG­A­ZINE

The Trentonian (Trenton, NJ) - - YOUR DAILY BREAK - by Phillip Alder

If you have a bud­ding ex­pert on your gift list, or wish to give your­self a present, get a sub­scrip­tion to The Bridge World mag­a­zine (bridge­world.com). The ma­te­rial aims pri­mar­ily at se­ri­ous tour­na­ment play­ers, but there are ar­ti­cles and quizzes for the bud­ding ex­pert. In this deal, look only at the North and West hands. Against four hearts, West leads the spade ace: five, two, four. How should he con­tinue? What hap­pens in four spades? North re­sponded with one forc­ing no-trump; but even in Stan­dard, one non­forc­ing notrump would have been a sen­si­ble re­sponse. How­ever, when North learned of two eight-card fits, he jumped to game; and usu­ally a 4-4 fit is prefer­able to a 5-3. West knows that East started with a sin­gle­ton spade. But he should not cash the spade king, which would give up con­trol. In­stead, he leads the spade eight, his higher spot-card be­ing a suit­pref­er­ence sig­nal for di­a­monds. As­sum­ing East ruffs and shifts to a di­a­mond, that es­tab­lishes four tricks for the de­fend­ers: two spades, one di­a­mond and the ruff. Four spades goes down if West leads a di­a­mond (likely) and de­fends ac­cu­rately af­ter that. Sup­pose South takes the sec­ond di­a­mond with dummy’s ace and plays a trump. West wins and leads an­other di­a­mond to tap the de­clarer’s hand. When South plays a spade toward the nine, West must duck that. Then, if de­clarer leads a third trump, West wins and plays a fourth di­a­mond, which South ruffs with his last trump. Or, if de­clarer aban­dons trumps, West ruffs the third round of hearts. In each sce­nario, the de­fend­ers get three spades and one di­a­mond.

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