• Thu
  • Aug 28, 2014
  • Updated: 2:56pm
LifestyleDiversions

Bridge Puzzle

28.8.14

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 05 September, 2012, 5:23pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 28 August, 2014, 5:44am

Opening lead: king of spades

Entry problems are often a source of frustration for declarer. He sometimes finds himself with lots of good tricks in one hand — either the dummy’s or his own — but is not able to collect them for lack of an entry to that hand. About all declarer can do in this situation is resort to his own ingenuity in an effort to overcome the bothersome communication problem.

Consider this deal where West leads the king of spades against South’s fourheart contract. Let’s say declarer takes the king with dummy’s ace, leads a club to his singleton ace and then exits with a spade, planning to ruff a spade in dummy and shed some of his diamonds on dummy’s clubs.

But East wins the spade and returns a trump, whereupon West takes his ace and leads another trump. Assuming proper defence thereafter, South winds up down three.

However, declarer can make his contract if he plays a bit more carefully. All he needs to do to effect at least a three-trick difference in the outcome is to duck West’s king of spades at trick one.

This manoeuvre leaves West without recourse. If he plays the ace and another trump, South winds up with 11 tricks. If West continues with another spade instead, declarer wins in dummy, crosses to the ace of clubs, ruffs a spade in dummy, discards two diamonds on dummy’s clubs and finishes with 10 tricks.

And so, in this case at least, the irritating entry problem can be resolved quite neatly by the simple expedient of ducking the king of spades at trick one.

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

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