The win­ning play is tough to find

Sherbrooke Record - - CLASSIFIED - By Phillip Alder

Alexis de Toc­queville, a French diplo­mat and his­to­rian, said, “In a revo­lu­tion, as in a novel, the most dif­fi­cult part to in­vent is the end.”

At the end of this deal, South had an un­com­fort­able feel­ing that he could have made six di­a­monds. Can you see what he needed to do af­ter West led a low trump?

Most Souths at Bridge Base On­line opened one no-trump. Then half the Norths sur­pris­ingly raised to three notrump. The oth­ers showed some sort of mi­nor-suit hand and ended in a va­ri­ety of fi­nal con­tracts, in­clud­ing seven di­a­monds.

One North-south pair was us­ing the weak no-trump, so South opened one di­a­mond. Ev­ery­one th­ese days over­calls with that tepid West hand. North might have cue-bid two spades to show a good di­a­mond raise, but so liked her hand that she started with two clubs. Four hearts was a con­trol-bid, and four notrump Ro­man Key Card Black­wood.

De­clarer cov­ered the trump lead with dummy’s eight and cap­tured East’s queen with his ace. South cashed two hearts to dis­card dummy’s spade, then led the heart jack, on which West dis­carded a club. De­clarer led the spade king and ruffed West’s ace. Then came the club ace and an­other club, but East won with his king and led the club jack, ruffed by South and over­ruffed by West.

South im­me­di­ately rued not hav­ing the di­a­mond seven in­stead of the six. But he had blown the con­tract at trick one! He had to win with dummy’s di­a­mond king, so that he could have ruffed the third club with the di­a­mond ace — dif­fi­cult to an­tic­i­pate.

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