ACES ON BRIDGE

Ledger-Enquirer - - Puzzles - By Bob­by­Wolff

There are oc­ca­sions when you need to rush at bridge, to take or set up dis­cards, or, more fre­quently, to draw trumps be­fore some­thing bad hap­pens. But when it comes to guesses in a side suit, it is of­ten the case that the more in­for­ma­tion you have, the more likely you are to guess well.

Take to­day’s deal, for ex­am­ple, where you play four spades on re­peated heart leads. The first crit­i­cal is­sue is to re­mem­ber to ruff with a trump in­ter­me­di­ate, pre­serv­ing the six. Then cross with an­other trump in­ter­me­di­ate to dummy’s ace and play a sec­ond trump. The good news is that you have been able to hold your trump losers to one. When a top club comes back, you duck, then take the club ace, ruff a club and trump a heart high. At this point, you al­most have a com­plete count of the West hand. That player has seven hearts, two spades and at least three clubs, so no more than one di­a­mond.

When you cross to a top di­a­mond in dummy and lead a small di­a­mond from the board, East must split his J-10; un­less you were care­ful enough to pre­serve the spade six in hand and the seven in dummy, you will be un­able to cross to the board to re­peat the di­a­mond fi­nesse. But you were care­ful

... weren’t you?

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