Vancouver Sun

aces on bridge

- Bobby wolff

“Generosity is a virtue for individual­s, not government­s. When government­s are generous, it is with other people’s money, other people’s safety, other people’s future.”

— P.D. James

The British home internatio­nal open series is the Camrose Trophy. From the English Camrose pretrials a few years ago, John Froztega played this hand very nicely; but it was Marc Smith, the injured party in the East seat, who generously reported it. Given perfect defense, it is hard to believe that any of the four or more top tricks that East-West have against four hearts could get away!

Peter Czerniewsk­i as West had done well for his side, up to a point, by not sacrificin­g in four spades, which would probably have gone at least two down. Instead, he passed out four hearts and led a low spade, and dummy’s nine held. A heart to the jack exposed the 4-0 break, and there seemed to be at least two inevitable losers in each red suit.

Still, Froztega did not give up hope; he set about playing a crossruff in the black suits. He cashed the club king and ace and ruffed a club, then took the spade ace and ruffed another club. When he then ruffed a spade, he had reached a five-card ending with three diamonds and two hearts in each hand.

Now came a diamond exit to the king and ace. Czerniewsk­i could cash one more diamond to let Smith discard his club, but then had to lead either a spade or a diamond, which Smith was forced to ruff at trick 11. That in turn required him to lead away from the heart king into dummy’s trump tenace, to concede 10 tricks. Remarkably, the defense’s sure trump winners had completely vanished.

ANSWER: If your side isn’t in the midst of a bidding accident, you made a penalty double, and your partner has now shown a strong hand with long spades. Cautious players will bid only three spades, but I’d argue that the little you have may be very useful. So, I would simply jump to four spades. With an additional top honor in spades, I’d do more, perhaps a splinter jump to four diamonds.

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