When you push, look for luck

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

John Hay, who was the Sec­re­tary of State from 1898 to 1905, said, “True luck con­sists not in hold­ing the best of the cards at the table; luck­i­est is he who knows just when to rise and go home.”

If you are play­ing bridge for money and the cards are not run­ning your way, do not play on, think­ing that your luck must turn. Go home. In con­trast, if the cards are going your way, can­cel all ap­point­ments and play on.

Some­times mo­men­tum just car­ries the bid­ding higher and higher. If you end po­ten­tially out of your depth, hope that you get lucky. Look for a dis­tri­bu­tion that will al­low you to suc­ceed.

In to­day’s deal, how should South play in six di­a­monds af­ter West leads the club king?

The auc­tion was ex­haust­ing. North’s two-spade re­bid was fourth-suit game­forc­ing. He then set di­a­monds as trumps be­fore us­ing Ro­man Key Card Black­wood to learn that South had three key cards (five di­a­monds) but no trump queen (six di­a­monds).

South saw im­me­di­ately that he needed trumps to split 3-2. But he also had to dis­card all four of his club losers be­fore a de­fender could ruff in and cash a club. That re­quired find­ing hearts 4-4.

The play went: club to the ace, di­a­mond king, di­a­mond to the ace, three top hearts (dis­card­ing clubs), heart ruff, spade to the board and pitch the last club on the high heart seven.

Lucky — find­ing both a 3-2 break and a 4-4 split will hap­pen only 22.2% of the time.

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