STOP THE WORST FROM HAP­PEN­ING

The Reporter (Lansdale, PA) - - YOUR DAILY BREAK - by Phillip Alder

Werner Heisen­berg, a Ger­man sci­en­tist who was told to de­velop an atom bomb in World War II, said, “An ex­pert is some­one who knows some of the worst mis­takes that can be made in his sub­ject, and how to avoid them.”

The mis­takes made by West and East in this deal are not among the worst ever seen, but an ex­pert would surely have solved the prob­lem, es­pe­cially if sit­ting West.

What hap­pened in four spades af­ter West led his sin­gle­ton heart?

When South over­called East’s weak two, North might have jumped to three no-trump, which would have coasted home here. But four spades would be hard to crit­i­cize.

East won with his heart jack and cashed the heart ace. West dis­carded an en­cour­ag­ing di­a­mond nine. East took his third heart win­ner, then shifted to a di­a­mond. How­ever, South won with the ace, cashed his two top clubs, played a trump to dummy’s jack, ruffed a club, re­turned to dummy with a spade, ruffed an­other club (bring­ing down West’s queen) and crossed back to the board with a trump. Then de­clarer dis­carded his di­a­mond 10 on the club jack.

He took six spades, one di­a­mond and three clubs.

East might have worked out to shift to a trump at trick four, be­cause if West had the di­a­mond ace, he would have ruffed his part­ner’s win­ner at trick three and cashed the set­ting trick. How­ever, West knew that he did not have the ace, and, un­less the con­tract was cold, South could suc­ceed only if he es­tab­lished dummy’s club suit. To stop that from hap­pen­ing, West should have ruffed the third heart and shifted to a trump, re­mov­ing a vi­tal dummy en­try.

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