My favorite safety play By Sam Fry

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The somewhat esoteric jargon of bridge players—and, we admit, more particularly bridge writers—includes such as “grand coup ” “Deschapelles coup,” “double squeeze,” “strip and end play” and so on.

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On 3 October, 2016 At 16:04

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Ludington Daily News – 23 Ago 1956

The somewhat esoteric jargon of bridge players—and, we admit, more particularly bridge writers—includes such as “grand coup ” “Deschapelles coup,” “double squeeze,” “strip and end play” and so on. Don’t let these terms get you down. They are nothing more or less than fancy titles for logical and not-too-complicated maneuvers in the play of the cards, that should be in the roper toiro of any average-to-good player.

We know you’ve all heard of “safety plays.” The safety play family is a large one. There are dozens of them. The safety play is a play made to insure the fulfilling of your contract even if in making it you deliberately sacrifice any chance of an overtrick or two.

Here’s my  favorite safety play. Call it the reducio ad absurdum of safety plays, call its perpetrator an obvious subject for extensive psychonalysis, or accuse us point blank of having made up the whole hand. Anyhow, here it is. Our candidate for the bridge hall of fame sat South and he wound up as declarer at three no trump. West opened the king of spades and after holding up once South perforce won the next spade lead with the ace.

Without using calculus South saw he had nine sure tricks to guarantee his contract. South also saw, with somewhat of a sinking feeling, that he, if it was successful, he would make four no trump. The sinking feeling was caused by South’s realization taht he could take a diamond finesse and finesses to make overtricks, and that, if this particular finesse lost, he could easily go down at three.

South, however, rose to the occasion. After winning the spade ace he started running his good clubs. On the third round he had to discard from dummy. Without a moment’s hesitation, before he could change his mind, he discarded the queen of diamonds from dummy. In one master blow he had successfully removed all temptation to take the diamond finesse and thus insured his contract. This is definitely our type safety play!

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