Skill Required for Unblocking by Oswald Jacoby
On 24 September, 2014 At 14:06
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The Evening Independent – Feb 3, 1964
Anybody knows enough to play a low card when he is not trying to win a trick. It takes experience to learn when to play an unnecessarily high card in order to guard against an embarrassment of riches later on.
South let West hold the first trick with the K. West continued with the Q. South took this trick and led the 2 to dummy’s queen.
His next play was the K and when West discarded the 7 South saw that he was in trouble. He didn’t have any club losers but if he played dummy’s ace of clubs in order to drop East’s jack, the club suit would be blocked.
He would make four club tricks instead of the five he needed for his contract.
South solved his problem with help from West. He abandoned the club suit for a moment and led dummy’s 10.
Had West been in a thinking mood, he would have distrusted South’s generosity and refused to cash his last spade, but West wasn’t thinking. He did cash that fourth spade and South was aide to discard a club from his hand.
This unblocked the suit and gave him his contract. South deserves a lot of credit for finding a way to unblock the club suit, but everything would have been much easier if he just led the 7 and dropped the 10 and 9 on the second and third leads of the suit.
This way he would have been left with the deuce and the unblocking problem would never have arisen.
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