Pretoria News




The difference between an expert and a beginner: An expert has failed more times than a beginner has even tried. Today’s West leads a club against 3NT: ten, king, ace. A beginning player sees 10 easy tricks, given a normal break in diamonds. He takes the A-K — and West discards.

To get nine winners, South must lose a diamond to East. Then an expert East will infer that South has a second club stopper — otherwise, he might have held up his ace — so East shifts to the deuce of hearts: ten, jack. West returns a heart to the ace, and a third heart goes through South’s queen to West’s K-9. Down one. Heart Tricks An expert declarer notes that the defense can take four hearts only if the first heart lead comes from East. Thus, if declarer loses a diamond, he wants to lose to West. So declarer leads a diamond to dummy at Trick Two and returns a low diamond to his nine — an “avoidance” play.

As the cards lie, South makes an overtrick, but even if West won, South would be safe. Daily Question

You hold: J 8 3 2 A72 J854

♠ ♥ ♦ ♣

K 7. Only your side is vulnerable. The dealer, at your left, opens three hearts. Your partner doubles, and the next player passes. What do you say?

Answer: Partner’s double is for takeout. He has a hand worth 17 points or more with support for the unbid suits, especially for spades. Since you have nine points when you might have held none, you might jump to four spades. Since bad breaks are likely, some experts would favor a bid of 3NT. South dealer

N-S vulnerable

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