Cecil Whig - - COMICS & PUZZLES - By Phillip Alder

To win, think the right thought

An­tonie van Leeuwen­hoek, a Dutch bi­ol­o­gist who died in 1723, said, “A man has al­ways to be busy with his thoughts if any­thing is to be ac­com­plished.”

That is true at the bridge ta­ble for a man or a woman. If you do not think, you will make mis­takes. If you do think, but have wrong thoughts, you will also err. The key is think­ing the right thoughts at any given mo­ment.

For ex­am­ple, in to­day’s deal, how should East-West de­feat three notrump af­ter West has led a fourth­high­est club two?

South’s two-heart re­bid is called a re­verse. It shows a strong open­ing, usu­ally 17-20 high-card points, with four hearts and five or more di­a­monds. North re­bid three di­a­monds be­cause he now knew of an eight-card or bet­ter fit. His heart queen rated to be use­ful, and he did not have a club stop­per for notrump pur­poses. South, though, with a club stop­per, pro­posed play­ing in three no-trump, and North had no rea­son to dis­agree. East must read the lead. Since the two is fourth-high­est, West started with ex­actly four clubs. Since this means that South has three, his hand distri­bu­tion is pre­sum­ably 1=4=5=3. If so, East should shift at trick two to the spade king, which is nec­es­sary when de­clarer’s sin­gle­ton is the queen.

With the given lay­out, that’s ex­actly how the deal pans out. De­clarer ducks a cou­ple of spades, wins the third round with dummy’s ace and tries to run the di­a­monds. When they don’t break, he has to dis­lodge the club king to get out for down one.

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