Bridge column, October 29: The distribution defines the losers
Joseph Addison was an Englishman who founded The Spectator magazine with Richard Steele. Addison wrote in that magazine in 1711, "Exercise ferments the humors, casts them into their proper channels, throws off redundancies, and helps nature in those secret distributions, without which the body cannot subsist in its vigor, nor the soul act with cheerfulness."
Bridge exercises our brains, which we hope think along the proper channels to find the best bids and plays. In this deal, the bidding was aided by South's accurately revealing the secret of his hand's distribution.
With 5-5 in spades and diamonds, South would have opened one spade, not one diamond. So when he bid spades twice (the second time after North rebid two clubs, fourth-suit game-forcing), he was showing five spades and at least six diamonds.
North, with golden cards, bid three diamonds, setting that suit as trumps. South now control-bid (cue-bid) four clubs to show the ace or a void in that suit. North used Roman Key Card Blackwood to learn that his partner had two aces and the diamond queen, then signed off in seven diamonds.
After West led the club queen, declarer won with his ace and carefully cashed his diamond ace to expose the 4-0 break. South unblocked dummy's ace-king of spades, ruffed a club in his hand, trumped a spade with the diamond king, played a diamond to his nine, drew trumps, and claimed. Brainy bidding and play!
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