Bridge in Ireland
This summer I enjoyed a two-week Irish holiday with a group led by Randy Baron, the founder of Baron Barclay Bridge Supply, now coordinating overseas trips especially for bridge players. (See baronbridgetravel.com.)
At a Belfast club, Baron was today’s declarer. North should have passed at her second turn, but when she raised to two hearts, Baron bid game.
Baron ruffed the second diamond, led a spade to dummy and returned a trump to his jack. He next had to start the clubs; when trump control is an issue, as here, declarer should attack a side suit early.
West won, and when East discarded, West hastily led another club. East ruffed and led a spade, but Baron won in dummy, picked up all the trumps and claimed.
The defense slipped. Declarer’s play suggests that his trump holding is tenuous, so when West takes the ace of clubs, he should plug away at diamonds. Declarer cannot succeed. The defense also wins if West leads a spade or if East refuses to ruff the second club.