BRIDGE

With­out a high spot, there is no guess

Porterville Recorder - - SPORTS -

Ilka Chase, an ac­tress whose epi­taph reads, “I’ve fi­nally got­ten to the bot­tom of things,” said, “You can al­ways spot a well-in­formed man — his views are the same as yours.”

At the bridge ta­ble, we con­cen­trate on the honor cards, but it is also im­por­tant to pay at­ten­tion to the spot cards. (Yes, the 10 has a split per­son­al­ity, be­ing both an honor and a spot.) In this deal, for ex­am­ple, how should South play in six di­a­monds af­ter West leads the club queen? Would it make a dif­fer­ence if the di­a­mond four were ex­changed for one of South’s spots?

In the auc­tion, two spades was fourth­suit game-forc­ing. South de­scribed his hand pat­tern by bid­ding three clubs (at least 5-5 in the mi­nors) and three spades (3=0=5=5). North then bid what he thought his part­ner could make.

South has an un­avoid­able trump loser. But he must dis­card all four of his club losers be­fore a de­fender can ruff in and cash a club. This re­quires find­ing hearts 4-4. Then, as if that were not enough, South also has to avoid a spade loser. With this lay­out, that re­quires find­ing West with the spade queen.

The play goes: club to the ace, di­a­mond king, di­a­mond to the ace, three top hearts (dis­card­ing clubs), heart ruff, spade nine over­taken by dummy’s 10 and pitch the last club on the high heart seven. Slam made, with much gnash­ing of teeth from the de­fend­ers.

Note, though, that if dummy has a higher di­a­mond, which be­comes an en­try af­ter a de­fender ruffs the last heart, de­clarer can fi­nesse ei­ther op­po­nent for the spade queen.

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