When get­ting a ruff, re­mem­ber the cards

Sherbrooke Record - - CLASSIFIED - By Phillip Alder

Os­car Le­vant, a pi­anist, com­poser, au­thor, co­me­dian and ac­tor, said, “Hap­pi­ness isn’t some­thing you ex­pe­ri­ence; it’s some­thing you re­mem­ber.”

Bridge play­ers are happy when they do some­thing mer­i­to­ri­ous, but some re­mem­ber errors more clearly than bril­lian­cies. More im­por­tant, though, is re­mem­ber­ing the cards that have been played, if only be­cause each is telling its own story. In par­tic­u­lar, when you ex­pect part­ner to be giv­ing you a ruff, the card he leads to that trick should be send­ing you a suit-pref­er­ence sig­nal, telling you which suit to re­turn.

In this deal, de­fend­ing against four hearts, West leads the spade 10: three, king, four. East cashes the spade ace: seven, two, five. Then East leads the spade eight: queen, heart five, spade six. What should West do next?

North opened one club, be­ing too strong for one no-trump and too weak for two no-trump. East over­called one spade, hav­ing no im­me­di­ate way to show a spade-diamond two-suiter. Af­ter South re­sponded two hearts, North jumped to four hearts, aware that he was un­der­bid­ding slightly, but not lik­ing his spade hold­ing.

West must ask him­self whether East’s spade eight at trick three is high or low. Well, if he has been con­cen­trat­ing, he will know that he has seen ev­ery card un­der the eight. So, the eight is low, and West will shift to a club, which East will ruff to de­feat the con­tract.

If you say ev­ery played card to your­self, it will surely make you and your part­ner happy.

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