Bridge column, October 18: Keep counting winners and losers
The Internet has been good for bridge players, but bad for bridge clubs, with plummeting attendances. This deal, though, centers on counting -- something bridge players worldwide should do as much as they can.
South is in six hearts. West leads the club jack to declarer's ace. How many winners and losers does South have? What should he do?
When South had enough to jump-rebid in hearts, North wondered if there might be a grand slam. But deciding that he would never be able to find out with any accuracy, he settled for the small slam. (Real bridge players don't need Blackwood!)
South should see one, two or three losers in diamonds, depending upon the split of that suit. He has 11 top tricks: two spades, six hearts, one diamond and two clubs.
The first thought is probably that South needs to find the missing diamonds breaking 2-2. But that ought to be left in reserve. Perhaps a third spade winner can be established.
Declarer should win trick one, play a spade to dummy's king, ruff a spade high, cross to dummy with a trump, ruff another spade, and draw trumps. Are spades 4-3? If so, play a diamond to dummy's ace and cash the ace and seven of spades. However, if the spades are 5-2, South must hope for 2-2 diamonds.
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