Learn from bid­ding and de­fense

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

Os­car Wilde wrote, “It is a very sad thing that nowa­days there is so lit­tle use­less in­for­ma­tion.”

That isn’t so sad, and what would he have said about fake news?

At the bridge ta­ble, in the­ory there is lit­tle use­less in­for­ma­tion, but many play­ers do not draw the nec­es­sary con­clu­sions. In to­day’s deal, not only must one de­fender use the in­for­ma­tion avail­able to find the best open­ing lead, but his part­ner must ap­ply a key de­fen­sive rule. What are the lead and the rule?

From the bid­ding, West knew that dummy was com­ing down with four spades, and that de­clarer had four hearts. The diamonds also looked dan­ger­ous. So he wisely chose the club eight, top of noth­ing.

De­clarer has only six top tricks: four spades, one heart and one club. He is go­ing to play on diamonds to gen­er­ate the ex­tra win­ners. First, though, he calls for dummy’s club jack.

Now the spot­light moves to East. Sup­pose he takes the first trick and re­turns a club. De­clarer wins on the board and runs the di­a­mond nine. West wins with the queen and plays an­other club. South, with a sink­ing feel­ing, leads the di­a­mond king. But West has to take the trick and is out of clubs, so the con­tract makes with an over­trick.

A key de­fen­sive rule is that if de­clarer has two win­ners in the suit you are try­ing to es­tab­lish, make him use one of them at trick one. East must en­cour­age with his club 10 at trick one. Then the play goes: club jack, di­a­mond to the queen, club to the ace, di­a­mond to the ace, and East takes three club tricks for down one.

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