Bridge column, March 6: Straight toward all of the tricks
The secret of playing bridge excellently is merely(!) a matter of thinking the excellent thought at the right moment. Really, it's a matter of programming your mind to sift the information and reach the winning conclusion.
In this deal, West leads the diamond jack against seven spades. South wins with his ace and runs a torrent of six trumps and three hearts. What should West discard?
In theory, North's jump to four spades denied a first- or second-round control. But with a true Yarborough (no card higher than a nine), he felt justified in a slight fib. South then hoped he would be able to avoid a diamond loser; maybe partner would have the queen or a doubleton diamond.
Since dummy had no help, South had to run his winners, starting with his trumps, and hope that the defenders would err.
West started with four painless pitches: two hearts and two clubs. Then, though, when the three top hearts came, he was less comfortable. He was not sure whether to throw diamonds or clubs. What was the key clue?
If South had started with a doubleton club, he would have ruffed the second in the dummy. So, since South held at most one club, West had to stay glued to his diamonds.
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