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  • Sep 21, 2014
  • Updated: 3:12pm
LifestyleDiversions

Bridge Puzzle

20.9.14

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 05 September, 2012, 5:23pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 20 September, 2014, 6:01am

Opening lead: four of spades

It is certainly possible to stumble into a good result by accident. For example, consider this deal from a pair championship where North responded to his partner’s opening one-heart bid with one spade. This fancy footwork was intended to prevent East-West from bidding their (presumed) best suit, but South unexpectedly raised the spade response to game.

This put North in a position where he couldn’t afford to pass, and where he couldn’t bid five hearts for fear his partner would read this as a slam try and jump to six spades. So North decided, for better or worse, to bid six hearts, which could not be misunderstood, and in that way he terminated the bidding.

Oddly enough, the spade bid worked out very well when West decided to lead one, expecting his partner to ruff. After this lead, the slam could not be defeated. Declarer won East’s queen with the king, cashed the A-K of trumps and led a low club toward dummy.

This placed West on the horns of a dilemma. In practice, he followed low, allowing dummy’s queen to win. South thereupon cashed the ace of spades, crossed to his hand with a trump and led the 10 of spades through West’s jack. It did not matter whether or not West covered; either way, declarer would be able to dispose of dummy’s last club on a spade and lose only a diamond trick to make the slam.

Had West gone up with the ace of clubs at trick four, the outcome would have been the same. In that case, declarer would not have lost a diamond trick, disposing of one of dummy’s diamonds on the king of clubs and another on the extra spade trick he could establish.

 

For details about local bridge events, go to the HK Contract Bridge Association website www.hkcba.org

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