Details for Daily Bridge

Bridge By Phillip Alder
♠

♥
♦
♣

what you see might not suffice

Dealer: North
Vulnerable: Both

two.

North
06-18-19
♠KQ8
♥ 10 7 4
♦92
♣ A K J 10 9
West
♠A64
♥AKQJ5
♦J743
♣6

East
♠52
♥83
♦ Q 10 6 5
♣87432

South
♠ J 10 9 7 3
♥962
♦AK8
♣Q5
South

West

1♠
3♠

2♥
Pass

North
1♣
2♠
Pass

East
Pass
Pass
Pass

Opening lead: ♥ A
Jose Marti, a Cuban poet, said,
“A grain of poetry suffices to season
a century.”
When you are a defender, you
know how many tricks will suffice to
defeat the contract. But sometimes
the hard part is finding them.
In today’s deal, how should
West defend against three spades?
He leads the heart ace: four, eight,
COPYRIGHT: 2019, UNITED FEATURE SYNDICATE

In the auction, South might
well have passed out two spades,
but if his partner had had one fewer
heart and one more diamond, four
spades would probably have been
makable. Albeit I concede that it
isn’t obvious why North would pass
out three spades with his actual
3=3=2=5 hand and raise to game
with 3=2=3=5, even though we
do get extra-nervous with a weak
tripleton in an opponent’s suit. In
addition, if you use Support Doubles,
North would double over two hearts
to show three spades, reserving a
spade raise to guarantee four-card
support.
At trick two, West cashes the
heart queen, seeing his partner
complete an echo (high-low) with his
doubleton. Now West can see four
winners: three hearts and one spade.
But where is trick five? Checking the
high-card points makes it clear that
East doesn’t have anything useful to
contribute.
West should see that he can
gain a club ruff. At trick three, he
shifts to his singleton. South takes
that trick and plays a trump, but West
wins immediately with the ace and
leads his lowest heart. This forces
East to ruff, and then it should be the
work of a moment for him to return a
club for West to ruff.

Tues., 6/18

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