DAILY BRIDGE CLUB
“What did you get Esther for her birthday?” I asked Unlucky Louie in the club lounge. I knew he had been shopping for just the right gift for his wife.
“I bought her a nice coat,” Louie told me gloomily. “Then, yesterday, I saw the same coat at 50 percent off.” “Murphy’s Law,” I said. “That’s not the worst of it,” Louie said. “Esther was with me, and she got upset because she assumed I’d picked out the coat because it was cheap.”
Everything happens to poor Louie. In today’s deal, he dealt himself the fine South hand and was disappointed when he got no cooperation from North and had to stop at game. West led the queen and jack of clubs, and Louie ruffed and took the A-K of trumps.
When East discarded, Louie was in trouble. He continued with the ace of hearts, but West ruffed, took his other high trump to remove Louie’s last trump and cashed a club. Down one. (If West refuses to ruff Louie’s first two high hearts, Louie must be careful to avoid going down two.)
Louie gave East-West a gift by failing to maintain control. He can take one high trump but should then lead a high heart. If East-West followed, Louie would continue with high hearts. He might lose an unnecessary ruff (if trumps in fact split 3-2), but he would keep control and would lose only three tricks in all.
If in the actual deal West ruffs the first heart and leads another club, Louie ruffs, takes the king of trumps and continues with high hearts. West can score only his second high trump.
Both sides vulnerable