Bridge conversation is replete with cliches by Helen Sobel
‘Always cover an honor with an honor,” “Never lead away from a king.” “Second hand low” are only a few of dozens.
On 22 August, 2015 At 12:46
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The Milwaukee Journal – 1 Mar 1950 by Helen Sobel and Sam Fry Jr.
Bridge conversation is replete with cliches. ‘Always cover an honor with an honor,” “Never lead away from a ace.” “Second hand low” are only a few of dozens. It’s the “nevers” and the “always”in most of these phrases that make them lose their value. The one we’re out to get today is “Third hand high.”
South dealer: Neither side vulnerable
South opened the bidding with one spade, North responded with two diamonds, South bid two no trump and North went to three.
West did not like any of his leads but finally decided on the deuce of club.
The nine of clubs was played from dummy and it was up to East. Had he blindly followed the ‘third hand high” rule and played the queen, declarer would have a second club stop and would have had no trouble in fulfilling his contract even with both red suit finesses losing.
East, however, figured out all the possible combinations of the suit and knew that he could only lose a trick by not playing the queen if his partners deuce lead had been from four to the ace-king. He dismissed this possibility as being most unlikely on South’s two no trump bid. So he did not cover dummy’s nine of clubs with his queen, but instead played the encouraging card of the seven.
Later when he got in with the diamond king he led the four of clubs back. South’s king went under West’s ace and East’s queen then was able to capture dummy’s jack. After the fourth club was cashed, declarer still had to take a heart finesse for his ninth trick and when this lost the contract went down.
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