The best ad­vice is to con­cen­trate

Times-Herald (Vallejo) - - CLASSIFIED­S - By Phillip Alder

Frank Ste­wart has writ­ten sev­eral books and a lot of news­pa­per col­umns. One of the for­mer is “Keys to Win­ning Bridge” (Baron Bar­clay Bridge Sup­plies). It is sub­ti­tled “The Ad­vanc­ing Player’s Hand­book for Suc­cess.”

Ste­wart cov­ers all three sec­tors of the game, in or­der: de­clar­erplay, de­fense and bid­ding. The book ends with two short chap­ters on win­ning at­ti­tudes and main­tain­ing fo­cus. The pro­logue states: “The level of in­struc­tion varies. Some ... is ele­men­tary ... some ... more ad­vanced ... Al­though my aim is to build a sound foun­da­tion, I also want to give any reader who can ex­cel the op­por­tu­nity to do so.”

This deal is in­struc­tive. South was in two no-trump. West led the spade three: two, 10, king. De­clarer played a di­a­mond to the ace and re­turned to a di­a­mond to his jack. West took that with his queen and found the ex­cel­lent con­tin­u­a­tion of the spade nine. When that held the trick, West led his spade seven to his part­ner’s queen. Now, though, East shifted to a heart, not to a club, so the con­tract made in­stead of go­ing down one. Who was to blame?

North had to go via Stay­man to in­vite game be­cause an im­me­di­ate two-no-trump re­sponse would have been a trans­fer to di­a­monds.

At first glance, it seems that East erred, but as Ste­wart points out (he was East), West was so happy with his spade-nine play that he stopped think­ing. At trick five, West should have cashed the club king, king from ace-king af­ter trick one. Then East could not have gone wrong.

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