Vancouver Sun



Today’s deal shows that one should never give up on defense. Even when your chances are slim, half the battle is identifyin­g what you need to defeat a contract. Whether partner comes through for you is another matter, but if you don’t try, you won’t succeed.

Imagine that as West, you are defending four hearts, and you lead your singleton spade. Prospects for the game look fairly terrible for North-South, but the 7-1 spade split makes the contract hard to defeat.

The spade queen is covered by the king and ace, and declarer plays a heart to the ace and a diamond to the queen and your ace. Now you should realize the danger of dummy’s diamond suit and know that the defense has to cash one spade trick or two club tricks to prevail. How can you get partner in for the killing play?

The only realistic hope of beating the game -- other than East’s holding an unlikely doubleton heart queen -- is that he comes through for you with the club ace. But you have a slight additional chance: Maybe if he holds both the club queen and eight, he can be put on play to win a club trick?

To make sure he doesn’t misdefend, lead a low club, which will go to his queen and declarer’s ace. Declarer next plays a diamond to the king and a third diamond. East can’t ruff in, so he pitches a spade, and you win your diamond 10. Now you triumphant­ly lead a club to his eight, to let him cash the spade jack for down one.

ANSWER: This hand is worth forcing to game, but it is not clear which game will be best. You cannot bid no-trump yourself, and since a call of three diamonds would be invitation­al but not forcing (or even weak, depending on your methods), you must start with a cue-bid. Let partner play three no-trump if he can bid it. You can pass a four-heart response, and bid four diamonds over four clubs.

“Love truth, but pardon error.”

-- Voltaire

 ??  ??
 ??  ??

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada