Deccan Chronicle


- PHILLIP ALDER Copyright United Feature Syndicate (Asia Features)

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe said, "A chair is a very difficult object. A skyscraper is almost easier. That is why Chippendal­e is famous."

In this deal, the defense is a chair and the declarerpl­ay a skyscraper. Let's start with the building. How should South play in four hearts after West wins trick one with the club queen and continues with the club jack?

West might have made a takeout double over one spade, but the vulnerabil­ity was unfavorabl­e and his partner was a passed hand. Here, five clubs would probably have gone down only one, a good sacrifice if four spades was making. North's raise to four spades was preemptive, showing good playing strength for spades but a paucity of points and defensive tricks.

In the play, South did well, finding a line that worked even if West held the heart ace. After ruffing at trick two, declarer played a trump to dummy's king, ruffed the club king high in hand and returned to dummy with another trump. Then South led dummy's diamond 10 and ran it. (If East had covered, South would have won with the ace and taken a ruffing finesse through West.)

After West won with the queen, he was endplayed. Whatever he led now -- the heart ace, a diamond (into South's tenace) or a club (conceding a ruff-andsluff) -- declarer lost only one heart trick and made his game.

What did the sitting East miss? If, at trick one, he had overtaken the club queen with his ace and switched to the heart 10 (or queen), the defenders would have taken the first four tricks. Too difficult.

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