Can the play help your side?

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

Marie Curie said dur­ing a lec­ture at Vas­sar Col­lege, “(Sci­en­tific work) must be done for it­self, for the beauty of sci­ence, and then there is al­ways the chance that a sci­en­tific dis­cov­ery may be­come, like ra­dium, a ben­e­fit for hu­man­ity.”

At the bridge ta­ble, do not make plays that ben­e­fit only the op­po­nents. In to­day’s deal, how should East de­fend against four spades af­ter West leads the di­a­mond five, and dummy cov­ers with the nine?

South cue-bid two clubs to show a max­i­mum pass. Then North bid ag­gres­sively in jump­ing to game op­po­site a part­ner who could not open the bid­ding.

When East cov­ered dummy’s di­a­mond nine with his king, South took the trick and played a spade to the nine. East won and gave his part­ner a di­a­mond ruff, but de­clarer won the next trick with the club ace and ran the heart queen. When that held, South con­tin­ued with a trump to the queen and ace, and took dummy’s two di­a­mond win­ners, dis­card­ing his heart nine. De­clarer lost one spade, one club and the di­a­mond ruff.

East should have re­al­ized that his part­ner had led from ei­ther a sin­gle­ton or a dou­ble­ton. So, cov­er­ing dummy’s di­a­mond nine with the king was point­less; it ben­e­fited only de­clarer, giv­ing him four di­a­mond win­ners im­me­di­ately.

If East had played low, prob­a­bly South would have won with his di­a­mond 10 and taken the spade fi­nesse. East would have won and given his part­ner a di­a­mond ruff. Then West would have ex­ited with the club king, and the con­tract would have failed if West did not cover the heart queen (the first of touch­ing hon­ors), but did cover if de­clarer con­tin­ued with the heart jack.

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