ACES ON BRIDGE

The State - - Comics - By Bobby Wolff

The 2015 Euro­pean Youth Team Cham­pi­onships pro­duced this week’s fi­nal play.

South’s rus­tic leap to game saw West lead the heart queen, only to be dis­ap­pointed by dummy’s heart hold­ing. De­clarer won dummy’s king, then led a di­a­mond to the king and an­other back to the jack and queen.

East now had to open up a black suit. From trick one, West surely had the heart ace-queen­jack, so he could have no more than a queen in the black suits.

Since a club switch would be fa­tal if West had noth­ing there, East opted for a spade. East ex­ited with the spade nine, en­snar­ing dummy’s eight. By con­trast, a low spade would have gone to the queen and king, grant­ing de­clarer a trick in that suit.

The spade nine was cov­ered all around. De­clarer sur­ren­dered a heart to West, who plowed on with a spade to the six, seven and two. Win­ning the third spade, de­clarer knocked out the heart ace and won the next heart in dummy, East shed­ding a spade and two clubs. West’s club nine guarded the third round of that suit, so South had to lose a trick in one mi­nor or the other.

Per­haps de­clarer could have re­turned a heart at trick two. East can dis­card a spade on that, but the next heart forces a sec­ond spade out of him. Now, when de­clarer fi­nesses in di­a­monds, East will have to give up a trick re­gard­less of what he plays.

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