With more than one way to turn

The Signal - - CLASSIFIEDS / WEATHER - By Phillip Alder

Jean Nidetch, the founder of Weight Watch­ers, said, “It’s choice — not chance — that de­ter­mines your des­tiny.”

At the bridge ta­ble, the math­e­mat­i­cally best line of play may fail when an in­fe­rior ap­proach would have worked — al­though that al­most never hap­pens in this col­umn.

In to­day’s Danny Klein­man deal, South is in six no-trump. What should he do after a heart lead?

In the auc­tion, four no-trump was quan­ti­ta­tive. Dis­cuss this se­quence with your part­ner.

South starts with eight top tricks: one spade, two hearts, four di­a­monds and one club. True, he prob­a­bly has six di­a­mond tricks, but he still needs ex­tras from the black suits. Should he start on clubs or spades; and if clubs, how: ace and an­other, or low to the 10, or low to the queen?

If the spade fi­nesse is win­ning (and di­a­monds are not 5-0), that gets de­clarer up to 12 tricks. But if it loses, South will prob­a­bly need to find a sin­gle­ton club king.

Sim­i­larly, play­ing the ace and an­other club might save a guess (East plays an honor on the sec­ond round), but could leave the con­tract down one at trick three.

So, it is best to start with dummy’s low club. But what do you do if East plays low smoothly? I would put in the 10 be­cause most Easts with the king, es­pe­cially king-dou­ble­ton, will win the trick, or at least think about it.

Here, the 10 loses to West’s jack, and an­other heart is re­turned. South takes that and plays a club to the ace. When the king does not ap­pear, de­clarer must fall back on the spade fi­nesse and di­a­mond break.

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