ACES ON BRIDGE

Star-Telegram - - This Week - By Bobby Wolff

For any­one who hasn’t al­ready wasted far too much of his or her life won­der­ing why Deep Fi­nesse never makes a mis­take, some of its con­clu­sions can ini­tially be jaw-drop­ping. What do you think is par for North-South on this deal from the se­cond qual­i­fy­ing ses­sion of last No­vem­ber’s Ka­plan Blue Rib­bon Pairs? A quick check of losers sug­gests that it should be easy to score plus 110 in di­a­monds, clubs or a ma­jor-suit part-score — or plus 400 in three no-trump.

Noth­ing, how­ever, is ever as easy as it looks. Sure, there are nine tricks, but try tak­ing them on the Garozzo play — an open­ing di­a­mond lead to dis­rupt the com­mu­ni­ca­tions. If you win the di­a­mond ace and cash the hearts, the de­fend­ers will have a heart and four black-suit win­ners to cash.

If you win the di­a­mond ace and play a club, plan­ning to un­block the high clubs from dummy to cre­ate a low-club en­try to hand, then West plays low, and East takes the club queen and can exit with any­thing but a spade. When de­clarer plays a se­cond club, West wins and shifts to a spade. De­clarer puts up the spade king, and East plays low. Now de­clarer is locked in dummy to lead a black card, and the de­fend­ers can cash out.

The same ba­sic vari­a­tions ap­ply if de­clarer wins the di­a­mond king at trick one to play a high club. West wins to play a spade, East plays low and de­clarer can­not un­scram­ble his tricks.

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