Royal Oak Tribune

Bridge

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Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, “In skating over thin ice, our safety is our speed.”

These days, if it is your turn to bid, you try to do anything but pass. If you have good support for partner’s suit, but insufficie­nt values for game, you leap into the stratosphe­re, as recommende­d by the Law of Total Tricks.

However, the LTT isn’t infallible, and sometimes one player misleads his partner with potentiall­y fatal consequenc­es. This is especially true when the opponents are using a radar gun and know how to deal with speeding opponents — as in today’s deal from an online duplicate.

East was tempted to respond one no-trump but decided that if his side belonged in three no-trump, partner, with a strong hand, should probably be the declarer. Then South could not resist throwing in a leaddirect­ing overcall in his strong four- card suit.

But North, believing that they had a nine- card fit, jumped to the nine-trick level. West, unwilling to sell out to that contract, made a card-showing double. Then East wondered what to do next. Even if the heart queen were a stopper, would they have nine winners in three no-trump? Unlikely. Also, five diamonds seemed miles away. So, East passed.

West took his three spade winners before shifting to the club king. East overtook with his ace and returned the suit. West played a third round of the suit, East overruffin­g dummy’s heart 10 with his queen. That was down two, plus 300, which proved to be a 90% board.

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