Goren on Bridge

Orlando Sentinel - - Local & State - With Bob Jones

The suc­cess or fail­ure of a con­tract can de­pend on a very small thing, some­times so small that it is hard to even see it. Competitio­n forced North­South into a hope­less four-heart con­tract with four top losers. A hope­less con­tract may gain some hope after the open­ing lead, how­ever, and who could fault West for lead­ing a spade?

South won the open­ing spade lead with dummy’s ace and quickly cashed the king, dis­card­ing two clubs from his hand. The con­tract looked pretty good now, and de­clarer led the jack of hearts from dummy. East won this with the king and led his last spade. South ruffed but had no win­ning con­tin­u­a­tion. An­other heart and he would lose com­plete con­trol of the hand. He tried play­ing on di­a­monds, cash­ing the ace, king, and queen be­fore ruff­ing a di­a­mond in dummy with the eight.

East dis­carded a club and South had no win­ning op­tion. East’s trump length, his abil­ity to over-ruff dummy’s five of hearts, and his abil­ity to force de­clarer in clubs gave him con­trol of the hand and the con­tract failed by one trick.

What went wrong? The jack of hearts is what went wrong! Had de­clarer led the five of hearts at trick three in­stead of the jack, he could not have been de­feated.

Whether East ducked or won with his ace to tap de­clarer, South could turn his at­ten­tion to di­a­monds. He could cash three high di­a­monds and ruff a di­a­mond with the eight of hearts in dummy. East could over-ruff but he couldn’t de­feat the con­tract. Try it for your­self.

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 tcaed­i­tors@tri­bune.com.

© 2020 Tri­bune Con­tent Agency, LLC.

Both vul­ner­a­ble, South deals

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