Goren on Bridge
Look at today’s deal and decide which contract you would prefer to play — four hearts or three no-trump. Both contracts were played during a team match in the Philippines some years ago.
The four-heart contract might well have succeeded, but the West defender found the only defense to defeat it. He cashed two high clubs and continued with a low club. East ruffed with the jack of hearts, promoting West’s heart holding into two tricks and declarer had no winning option.
They played in three no-trump at the other table, by North, and the declarer also failed by one trick, but the contract could have been made. Can you spot how?
East found the best lead of a low spade. We don’t know how the unsuccessful declarer played it, but he could have prevailed by cashing the king of diamonds at trick two. This would have dropped the jack from West, and declarer could have continued with the 10 of diamonds. East would be forced to cover with the queen, or else South would have four diamond tricks to go with three hearts and two spades. The 10, queen and ace would have made an entry out of South’s nine of diamonds. Declarer could then have played four rounds of hearts, giving a heart trick to the defense but setting up the long hearts in his hand. The defense would have been forced to settle for three club tricks. Which contract did you pick? Bob Jones welcomes readers’ responses sent in care of this newspaper or to Tribune Content Agency, LLC., 16650 Westgrove Dr., Suite 175, Addison, TX 75001. Email responses may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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