When you push, look for luck
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.