ACES ON BRIDGE

The News Tribune - - Puzzles - By Bobby Wolff

On to­day’s deal, when South opens, West makes a sim­ple over­call — be­ing un­suit­able for a jump over­call. Now North wants to show a de­cent raise in hearts, but he may not have the tools avail­able to do so. How­ever, he can use an Unas­sum­ing Cue­bid. What­ever he does, South should reach the heart game; mak­ing it is more prob­lem­atic, though.

On the lead of the di­a­mond queen, South ex­pects West to have six di­a­monds and can in­fer the threat of a di­a­mond ruff against him. If he wins the di­a­mond ace to play on trumps, his di­a­mond king may get ruffed away, af­ter which he will be doomed. So, he must win the di­a­mond king at trick one; now he wants to draw trumps. But who, if any­one, will have the singleton heart? Surely West.

To guard against that player hav­ing the singleton ace (the only rel­e­vant singleton), de­clarer wins the first trick in dummy, crosses to hand with the spade king rather than the club ace, and leads a heart. Now West’s heart ace beats empty air. He can give his part­ner one di­a­mond ruff, but that does not cost South a win­ner.

Note: If South crosses to hand with the club ace, West can give East two ruffs, us­ing the club king as the en­try for the sec­ond ruff. It would be a pity to have ne­go­ti­ated so many traps but to fall into the fi­nal pit!

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