Details for CITIZEN PROMOS/FILLERS - Ad from 2021-04-02

Bridge

♠
♥
♦
♣

By Phillip Alder

eight usually, nine sometimes

Dealer: South
Vulnerable: Both

North
♠ K 10 8 5
♥J8
♦653
♣ J 10 8 3
West
♠4
♥ A 10 4 2
♦J874
♣K654

04-02-21

East
♠Q62
♥KQ9653
♦ Q 10 9
♣9

South
♠AJ973
♥7
♦AK2
♣AQ72
South
1♠
4♠

West
Pass
Pass

North
2♠
Pass

East
Pass
Pass

Opening lead: ♣ 4
Mark Twain wrote, “One of the
most striking differences between
a cat and a lie is that a cat has only
nine lives.”
Well, it is hard to call an adage
like “lead through strength and
up to weakness” a lie. There are
exceptions, but it is usually correct.
Another adage is “eight ever, nine
never.” As you probably know, this
means that if you have eight trumps
COPYRIGHT: 2021, UNITED FEATURE SYNDICATE

missing only the queen, you should
finesse on round two. But if you
have nine cards, it is better to play
off the ace and king, expecting the
queen to drop. However, in this latter case, that is only about 2% better than a second-round finesse. If
you know something about another
suit, the odds can change.
This deal occurred during
the 1972 World Team Olympiad in
Miami Beach, when the Aces faced
Poland. The American West had an
unenviable lead and selected the
club four, as would most top players in my opinion. Janusz Pietruk
(South) called for dummy’s 10, and
when East contributed the nine,
Pietruk felt confident that West had
started with four clubs and East
with a singleton. If so, the odds had
altered. Now it was better to play
East for long spades. Trusting his
judgment, declarer cashed dummy’s
spade king, then led a spade to his
jack. When the finesse worked, he
drew the last trump and lost only
three tricks, one in each side suit.
At the other table, East had bid
hearts. So West began with the ace
and another heart. Now it looked
as though West would be long in
spades. The American declarer
cashed his spade ace and went
down one, losing a trick in each
suit.

Fri., 4/2

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