Goren Bridge Society

Expert imagination

The correct action with the South hand over East’s pre-empt is not clear, but South’s choice of double was certainly reasonable. North was slightly aggressive in forcing to game, but he wanted to “be sure” of landing in a 4-4 major suit fit. It was unlucky that no such fit existed. South, American expert Alan Sontag, had another tough bidding decision to make, and he chose to bid his better three-card major.

East won the opening diamond lead with his ace and shifted to the king of clubs. Sontag realised that there was no chance for the king of spades to be right, as East couldn’t possibly have that card along with diamond strength and the king of clubs. This meant that the clubs would have to divide 2-2. Sontag captured the king with his ace and led another club, pleased to see the suit split evenly. A second diamond from West went to Sontag’s king as dummy shed a club.

3-3 spades would make life easy, but Sontag had already seen the clubs split 2-2 and no one is entitled to that much luck.

Releasing the ace of spades would put West in control of the suit, so Sontag led the jack of spades from his hand. West ducked his king so Sontag continued with the 10 of spades.

West grabbed his king this time, but the fall of the nine from East left Sontag in command.

Sontag ruffed the diamond continuation with the ace in his hand, crossed to dummy in hearts and drew the rest of the trumps. Very well played!

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Printable version | Jan 16, 2021 5:12:10 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/society/expert-imagination/article33248342.ece

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