We are con­tin­u­ing to lead the de­fense

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

Neil Arm­strong, dur­ing a grad­u­a­tion speech at USC in 2005, said, “I hope you be­come com­fort­able with the use of logic with­out be­ing de­ceived into con­clud­ing that logic will in­evitably lead you to the correct con­clu­sion.”

It seems that he wasn’t a bridge player. I guess it was just too hard to hold the cards when wear­ing a space­suit! But in bridge, all play­ers should use logic to find the best bids, leads, de­fenses and de­clarer-plays.

In to­day’s deal, North re­sponded two no-trump, the Ja­coby Forc­ing Raise show­ing four or more spades and at least game-forc­ing val­ues. South, know­ing his part­ner had to have heart val­ues, used Blackwood. When North replied five hearts, East woke up and dou­bled. What did that log­i­cally mean?

When North de­nied a king, South signed off in six spades.

East’s double had to be lead­di­rect­ing, so West led the heart two. Now, how­ever South squirmed, he had to lose two heart tricks.

Note that af­ter the di­a­mond-queen lead, de­clarer will win, draw trumps, cash his other mi­nor-suit win­ners and play a heart to the 10. Yes, East wins with his jack, but he is end­played. He must ei­ther lead away from the heart king or con­cede a ruff-and-sluff.

Given East’s double, how log­i­cal would it have been for South to put North into six no-trump? Note that that con­tract makes if de­clarer reads the end-po­si­tion af­ter cash­ing all of his black-suit win­ners. The cu­ri­ous may work it out.

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