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The race often
goes to the
most careful
By Phillip Alder

Gertrude Stein, in “Everybody’s
Autobiography,” wrote, “Everybody
knows if you are too careful, you
are so occupied in being careful
that you are sure to stumble over
Not good bridge players. They
are successful because they think
carefully before plunging forward at
trick one.
In today’s deal, how should
South play in three hearts after
West leads the diamond queen, and East follows suit with the king?
After an intervening weak jump overcall, responder, with support for his
partner’s major, bids one level higher than he would have done without the
intervention. So, here, three hearts indicated the values for a single raise.
With a game-invitational hand, he would have jumped to four hearts. And
with game-forcing values, he would have cue-bid four diamonds.
The careless declarer will win the first trick and play a trump. East will
take the trick and return his remaining diamond. West will shift to the
spade queen, which establishes five tricks for the defenders: two spades,
one heart, one diamond and one club.
The careful declarer immediately leads the club jack (or queen) from
his hand. If West ducks, declarer loses only one spade, two hearts
and one club. If West wins with his king, cashes the diamond jack and
switches to the spade queen, South wins on the board and takes his two
clubs honors, discarding a spade from the dummy. Then he loses only one
trick in each suit.
Did you notice that if South plays the ace and another club, West can
immediately shift to the spade queen and strand declarer in the dummy?
© 2019 UFS, Dist. by Andrews McMeel for UFS