Details for bridge - 6-8-2019


Is it guesswork,
or is there
a clue?

By Phillip Alder
Jessica Alba said, “My theory
is that if you look confident, you
can pull off anything — even if
you have no clue what you’re
At the bridge table, it pays
to look confident, especially if
you are blatantly overbidding. At
other times, you will not be sure
whether partner has holding A or
holding B. But usually there will
be a clue available to tell you.
In today’s deal, look only at the
West and North hands. Defending against four hearts, West leads the
spade ace: four, nine, five. How should West continue?
At trick one, East’s job is to signal whether he has the queen, the
honor touching the two promised by West’s opening lead. If he does,
he plays the highest spot-card he has; if he does not, he plays his
lowest spade. However, if East started with a doubleton spade, he
drops the higher card, playing high-low with a doubleton and planning
on ruffing the third round of the suit. But here, how does West know
whether his partner has a doubleton or the queen?
There is not so much a clue as there is the desire to defeat the
contract. If East started with two spades, and the defense begins
with two high spades and a spade ruff, from where will the fourth
defensive trick come? The next deal!
Given the dummy, the contract will be defeated only if the
defenders take three spades and one heart. West should continue
with the spade three at trick two. East wins with his queen and
returns the suit. Then West should lead the 13th spade, and East
should ruff with his heart jack, which effects an uppercut, promoting a
trump trick for West.
© 2019 UFS, Dist. by Andrews McMeel for UFS


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