Times-Herald (Vallejo)

It is embarrassi­ng to fail your own test

- By Phillip Alder © 2021 UFS, Dist. by Andrews McMeel for UFS PHILLIP ALDER

W.C. Fields wrote, “Few things in life are more embarrassi­ng than the necessity of having to inform an old friend that you have just got engaged to his fiancee.”

Few things in bridge are more embarrassi­ng than the necessity of having to admit that you failed one of your own defensive problems.

Those of you who remember yesterday’s deal will find today’s easy. I am showing it because I made an embarrassi­ng error playing online last month. I failed my own test!

What should happen in four hearts after West leads the spade ace?

At seven tables, despite the adverse vulnerabil­ity, East went on to four spades over four hearts (two after partner offered a two-spade raise). This “sacrifice” worked well when it proved to be cold. NorthSouth could take only three diamond tricks.

Six tables had this auction, and at every one the defense was the same. West led the spade ace, and East encouraged. East took the next trick with the spade queen and continued with the spade 10, hoping for a trump promotion. However, South ruffed high, drew trumps and ran the diamonds. He took five hearts, four diamonds and the spade ruff.

East should have given himself two chances. At trick three, he should have cashed the club ace, which would have denied holding the club king. After trick one, you lead king from ace-king (and king-queen). Here, West would have encouraged enthusiast­ically, and a second club would have defeated the contract.

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