Nice guess in trumps, partner…by Helen Sobel

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“Nice guess in trumps, partner”, was North’s comment at the end of today’s deal. South however, was more than a good guesser. He was a sound technician. What looked like…

By Helen Sobel
On 7 May, 2015 At 13:16

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The Milwaukee Journal – Feb 6, 1950 por Helen Sobel y Sam Fry Jr.

Fry Jr, Sam

Fry Jr, Sam

“Nice guess in trumps, partner”, was North’s comment at the end of today’s deal. South however, was more than a good guesser. He was a sound technician. What looked like a good guess was a sure thing, a safety play to insure the contract.

South dealer: North-South vulnerable

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South opened the bidding with one spade and with the opponents never entering the auction North raised to two spades and South jumped to four.

West opened the diamond king and dummy’s ace won. The ace of spades was played from dummy and followed with another spade, and when East followed with the nine, South now had to make his “guess.”

South really didn’t have any way of knowing who had the spade queen and who didn’t. He was able to figure out, however, that if he went up with the king of spades playing for the drop in the suit, he could lose his contract.

He would have to knock out the ace of hearts and if the player with the queen of trumps also had the ace of hearts, the latter would be able to draw dummy’s last trump after winning his ace. Then the making of the contract would depend on a three-three heart break. But taking the spade finesse would insure the contract even if ,it lost to the queen in the West hand.

There would be no more trumps outstanding and dummy’s remaining trump would take care of the fourth round of hearts no matter how that suit broke. Consequently South finessed the spade on the second round: and in this case it happened to hold. North’s praise was in order, but he had understated his ease.

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