Bridge

HEADS OR TAILS, IT’S WIN OR WIN

Daily Times (Primos, PA) - - YOUR DAILY BREAK - By Phillip Alder

Lee Kuan Yew, the prime min­is­ter of Sin­ga­pore for 31 years, said, “I sup­port the view that free trade in goods and ser­vices is a win-win sit­u­a­tion.”

At the bridge ta­ble, usu­ally when you take a fi­nesse, it is a win or lose sit­u­a­tion -- but not al­ways. In this deal, for ex­am­ple, how should South play in six hearts af­ter West leads the spade queen?

In the bid­ding, South, un­der<00AD>stand­ably deem­ing his hand too strong for an im­me­di­ate four-heart over­call, started with a take­out dou­ble. Af­ter West jumped pre-emp­tively to four spades, North, un­sure who could make what, ad­vanced with a slightly ag­gres­sive five di­a­monds. Then South bid what he thought he could make, be­ing more wor­ried about miss­ing seven than go­ing down in six. How­ever, when the dummy ap­peared, South saw that he had only 11 top tricks: eight hearts, two di­a­monds and one club.

De­clarer’s first re­ac­tion was to re­move the miss­ing trumps, cash the di­a­mond king and play the di­a­mond 10 to dummy’s ace. If the queen ap­peared, great; but if not, he could lead the club jack, get­ting home if East had the club king and queen, or ei­ther royal sin­gle­ton or dou­ble­ton. (For his open­ing bid, East had to have at least one club royal.)

How­ever, there was a much bet­ter line. Af­ter ruff­ing at trick one and draw­ing trumps, South led his di­a­mond 10 and over­took with dummy’s jack. It was, “Heads I win, tails you lose.” If East took the trick, de­clarer would get the rest of the suit. Or, if East ducked, South could take two club fi­nesses through East.

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