The Hamilton Spectator

Happiness comes from success


John Stuart Mill said, “I have learned to seek my happiness by limiting my desires, rather than in attempting to satisfy them.” That is a rather depressing, defeatist attitude, don't you think? Why not fight to achieve ambitions, however extravagan­t?

Today's deal doesn't require anything quite so extreme. It just needs declarer to remember what didn't happen in the bidding, what did happen in the play and where his dummy entries are.

Against four hearts, West leads the diamond ace. East signals encouragem­ent with the eight, so West continues with the diamond king and his third diamond.

Now it could easily be right for East to lead the 13th diamond. If West has, say, queen-doubleton in hearts, this defense results in a trump promotion to defeat the contract. Here, though, the play is fatal. South discards his spade loser and has an easy ride home.

So let's suppose East switches to the spade 10. Not instantly fatal, but sufficient­ly revealing to a thoughtful South. As this switch marks West with the spade queen and jack, declarer has “seen” 10 points in West's hand. Therefore, as West passed as dealer, East surely has the club queen.

Displaying excellent technique, South wins the spade switch with his ace and draws three rounds of hearts ending in the dummy. He calls for the club jack and finesses when East plays low. Now comes a club to the ace, a spade to dummy's king and the club king, on which South discards his spade loser.

Always remember what didn't happen, both in the bidding and the play.

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