Moscow-Pullman Daily News – 7 Mar 1996

I know you don’t want to hear — or believe -this, but BRIDGE is basically an easy game. As long as you and your
partner know you bidding system, you will reach the right contract most of the time. And if you count high card points and suit distributions, you will usually find the winning plays, It is just a matter of application.

To exhibit counting, here is a deal from Hugh Kelsey’s excellent book «How to Improve Your Bridge.» alder1 (2)

South reached the ideal contract of six hearts.

North, with his working spade honors, judged well to jump to five hearts. After winning the first trick with the diamond king, East switched to a trump. Declarer drew trumps, led a spade to dummy’s queen, cashed the spade king and played a spade to his ace, which he said afterwards was the percentage play.

When the jack didn’t drop South conceded one down.

There was no need to guess spades it just required a little detective work.

After winning trick two in the dummy, South should ruff a diamond in his hand. A trump to dummy´s jack is followed by another diamond ruff. This squeezes East into discarding a club.

But suppose South, oblivious to its significance, draws the last trump, discarding a club from the dummy. South cashes his two top clubs, plays a spade to dummy’s queen and ruffs a club in hand.

Now the East hand has counted out. He is known to have started with three hearts, two diamonds, four clubs and, therefore, four spades. The spade finesse against the jack has become a certainty.