Bridge column, October 5: Maintaining control in a different guise
What a wise chap. In bridge, keep the thinking simple and be completely at the table. In declaring, do try to control your trump suit, which can be particularly testing when you have only seven trumps. This deal highlights one method of keeping trump control.
How should South play in four spades after West leads the heart ace and continues with the heart king?
East's jump to three hearts was pre-emptive, in the modern style. With a good heart raise, he would have cue-bid three clubs. Then North was endplayed into raising spades.
The missing spades are more likely to break 4-2 than 3-3 (48.4 percent to 35.5). Even so, South should plan on taking four spades, one diamond and five clubs. But if South ruffs at trick two and tries to draw trumps, he goes down. After three spades, he turns to clubs, but East ruffs the fourth club and plays another heart to defeat the contract.
Instead of ruffing at trick two, South should discard a low diamond. If West plays a third heart, declarer ruffs in the dummy, cashes the spade king, crosses to his hand with a club, plays three more rounds of trumps, ruffs the next heart, and claims. And if West shifts at trick three, the play follows a similar course.
Does a defensive point occur to you? Tune in tomorrow.
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