Publication:

The Hamilton Spectator - 2021-10-14

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There is a time for discussion

>>ARTS & LIFE

BY PHILLIP ALDER

The bidding has finished. You are declarer. The opening lead is made, and partner puts his dummy down. Immediately, you see that you are in the wrong contract. What do you do? Right — it is too late to worry about that now. You can discuss the sequence with partner after the session. For now, concentrate on making the necessary number of tricks. Moving on, how should South try to make five diamonds in today's deal after West leads a low spade? In the auction, South should have bid three no-trump on round one and round two. (Ideally, advancer's strengthshowing cue-bid is made with a hand that contains at least one four-card major.) It is often true that if the trumps are breaking badly, you do better not to touch them early on. Here, if South immediately plays a diamond to his king, he can no longer make the contract! The right initial move is to run the club nine. West will win with the jack and, probably, return another spade. Declarer crosses to hand with a trump and leads the club king, ruffing away West's ace. (If West doesn't cover, South discards a heart from dummy and leads the club queen. If West still doesn't cover, it is time to draw trumps.) Now declarer cashes the diamond ace (learning about the 4-1 split), plays a trump to his 10, draws East's last trump and takes his four black-suit winners, discarding the heart two. South loses only one club and one heart.

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