The Evening Independent – 5 Dic 1968
The moral of today’s hand is that one should never give up, even when the cause appears to be hopeless. I believe that contract bridge continues to grip the imagination and to hold the interest of its adherents through the years because of the never ending variety of situations that arise. Bad breaks are a part of the game and the ability to overcome them is the mark of the fine player.
THE BIDDING: South’s opening bid of one heart merits no comment, but North is torn between responding one notrump or raising to two hearts. The barren 4 3 3 3 distribution offers no possibility of ruffing losers in side suits and for that reason North is tempted to bid one notrump. On the other hand, all of the high card strength is in hearts and North’s cards provide virtually no coverage for any other suit. The single raise is therefore the lesser of the evils.
THE PLAY: West led the king, jack and queen of diamonds, South trumping the third lead of the suit.
Declarer sees that he will need to avoid the loss of a trump trick if he is going to succeed in making his contract. He has already lost two diamond tricks and must also lose a club. The odds favor a finesse through West rather than to play for the queen of hearts to drop. South therefore leads a small heart and finesses dummy’s nine when West follows with a low card.
South’s happiness over the success of the finesse was short-lived, though, when East failed to follow to the second round of trumps. Our declarer was a fighter, however, and decided to cash out his high cards in side suit and then see what would happen.
After winning the ace, king and queen of spades and the ace and king of clubs the following cards remained:
When South wisely got out with his small club, West was faced with a Hobson’s choice and could do nothing to prevent the declarer from making his contract. He finally elected to let go his ace of diamonds and East won with the jack of clubs. No matter which card East returned, West’s trump trick was sure to vanish in a smother play.