ACES ON BRIDGE

The Island Packet - - Tv -

This is the last of the week’s ex­am­ples of ma­nip­u­lat­ing a trump it miss­ing the king. Here, South’s three-no-trump call of­fers a choice of games. North is al­lowed to pass, though he would nor­mally con­vert to four spades with four-card trump sup­port, if not own­ing a com­pletely square shape or ter­ri­ble trumps. To­day, though, North might see the pos­si­bil­ity of a club ruff in his hand.

As de­clarer in four spades, you cover the lead of the club jack with the king, win the club con­tin­u­a­tion and lead a heart to dummy for the win­ning spade inesse. It looks best now to take the di­a­mond ace and spade ace. If the king does not fall, elim­i­nate your clubs and hearts, then play a se­cond di­a­mond, hop­ing West be­gan with the dou­ble­ton di­a­mond king and just two spades. If so, he will be forced to lead a club or heart and let you pitch your third-round di­a­mond loser.

The spade king falls, and de­clarer can draw trumps and claim 10 tricks. Should any­thing dif­fer­ent have hap­pened?

Maybe, though much may de­pend on the abil­ity of South and West. When de­clarer leads a trump to the jack, West has an oblig­a­tory false-card of drop­ping the nine or 10. If South has not en­coun­tered this ma­neu­ver be­fore, he may de­cide to play West for a sin­gle­ton or the dou­ble­ton 10 9 of trumps, then cross to dummy to lead the spade queen in an at­tempt to pin the re­main­ing in­ter­me­di­ate.

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