BRIDGE

Cape Argus - - LIFE - FRANK STE­WART

CY’S MATCH­POINT PLAY

It’s hu­man na­ture for bridge play­ers to be more im­pressed with a play that works than with one that is best only in the­ory. In a match­point du­pli­cate game at my club, Cy the Cynic was de­clarer at 3NT. West led a heart, and Cy won, pon­dered and led a di­a­mond. East took his king and re­turned a heart. The Cynic won and led an­other di­a­mond, and West won and took three hearts for down one.

“What are you do­ing?” North asked in­cred­u­lously. “Lead a club from your hand at Trick Two. Win the heart re­turn, take dummy’s high spades and fi­nesse with the queen of clubs. You win four clubs, three spades and two hearts.” Down Two “I would need clubs to break 3-2 with the king on­side,” Cy pointed out. “That’s only a 34 per­cent chance, and if the club fi­nesse loses, I’m down at least three. My play as­sured no worse than down one.” The goal at match­points is to beat the other pairs, not nec­es­sar­ily to make game. So Cy’s play was cor­rect or at least de­fen­si­ble, if only in the­ory.

Daily Ques­tion

You hold: ♠ 9 ♥ A K ♦ Q 10 9 5 2 ♣ AQ7 4 3. Your part­ner opens one spade, you bid two di­a­monds, he re­bids two spades and you try three clubs. Part­ner then bids three di­a­monds. What do you say?

An­swer: It would be easy to bid 3NT, and that might well be your best con­tract. But slam is not out of the pic­ture. You would have a chance at six di­a­monds if part­ner holds a min­i­mum hand such as A J 6 5 4 2, 8 6, K J 8, K 8. To test the wa­ter, bid three hearts or four clubs.

South dealer Both sides vul­ner­a­ble

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