Goren Bridge Society

A difficult extraction

Many players holding the South hand would rush into Blackwood after partner’s strong raise. They would end up at the five-level missing three aces. This South was a wily veteran who had been down this road before. Instead of Blackwood, he used a sequence that commanded North to cuebid a red ace at the four level if he had one. Good bidding, as even 10 tricks would be a challenge.

The opening heart lead went to the jack and queen. East tried to cash the ace of hearts, but South ruffed and led the king of spades. East chose to duck. It was tempting to try to reach dummy with a club ruff. South would make an overtrick if East had three or more clubs. East, however, was known to have started with three spades and at least five hearts, so South did not want to risk playing him for three clubs.

Instead, South tried for the “Dentist’s Coup.” He cashed two high clubs, extracting two clubs from East, and exited with a diamond. East won with his ace, but he could not prevent dummy from gaining the lead in order to lead a spade toward the queen. Sharp-eyed readers will note that East could have done better by executing a “Dentist’s Coup” of his own. East should have won the king of spades with the ace, cashed the ace of diamonds, and exited with a club. Too hard? South was known to have six spades and one heart, and he had bid clubs twice in the auction. Hard maybe, but not too hard.

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Printable version | Sep 23, 2021 12:20:19 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/society/a-difficult-extraction/article34967613.ece

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