China Daily (Hong Kong) - - LIFE FUN -

Sa­muel John­son, one of the great­est English au­thors of the 18th cen­tury, wrote, "In all pointed sen­tences, some de­gree of ac­cu­racy must be sac­ri­ficed to con­cise­ness." Bridge col­umns in news­pa­pers must be con­cise, but one hopes that does not re­sult in a loss of ac­cu­racy -- maybe just the omis­sion of some sec­ondary anal­y­sis. In to­day's deal, South must go on a voy­age of pointed dis­cov­ery. He is in four spades. West starts the de­fense with three rounds of hearts, ev­ery­one fol­low­ing. How should South con­tinue?

North might have opened two no-trump, but he had too many quacks for my taste. How­ever, then he was clearly worth the jump-raise to four spades. South starts with three top losers: two hearts and one di­a­mond. He must find the spade queen to make his con­tract. Count the points. Dummy has 19, and de­clarer has 8. That leaves 13 for the de­fend­ers, but thus far only 7 have been seen in the West hand. Ei­ther de­fender could hold the spade queen. So, is it a guess? Maybe ... and maybe not. At trick four, South should play a di­a­mond from the board to his jack. Here, West will pre­sum­ably win the trick with his ace and re­turn a mi­nor. Now East is known to have the spade queen be­cause West would have opened the bid­ding with that card in ad­di­tion to his other honors. If East turned up with the di­a­mond ace, de­clarer would have to guess the lo­ca­tion of the spade queen. But that would only hap­pen in real life, not in a teach­ing deal!

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