The Southeast Missourian – 15 Jun 1993
Ask most experts about their life away from the bridge table and you will probably uncover some interesting talent.
For example, if you had quizzed Englishman Jeremy Flint, he would have told you that he was a wizard at identifying perfumes. He also used his discerning sense of smell in wine-tasting competitions. And he had an excellent nose at the bridge table, as exhibited by today’s deal.
Against Flint’s contract of five hearts doubled, West led a diamond. East won two tricks in the suit before switching to the spade king. How did Flint continue?
In the balancing position, a jump overcall shows a good six-card suit and about 15 high-card points. North was too strong for this action. Instead, he doubled first and bid his suit on the next round.
East doubled five hearts in the faint hope that his partner would read it as asking for a lead of dummy’s suit. Not on the same wavelength, West led the diamond eight, the middle card from a low tripleton. This is known as MUD (middle-up-down) and is curiously popular in Britain.
After winning trick three with dummy’s spade ace, Flint cashed the heart ace and played a heart to his king. dropping West’s doubleton queen. Why didn’t he take the finesse, apparently a better percentage play? Because if East had started with queen-third of hearts, he would have played a third round of diamonds, forcing dummy to ruff.
A good nose knows how to avoid the no-nos.