Society

Eyes open

Bob Jones 04 December 2021 16:43 IST
Updated: 03 December 2021 15:44 IST

Today’s deal offers an interesting declarer play problem. Declarer has to make a key decision at one point in the play.

South wins the opening club lead with dummy’s ace and leads a spade to his queen, winning the trick. What now? There are seven top tricks and a 3-3 split in diamonds would provide two more. There is no rush to try the diamonds, as a 3-3 split in spades will also give you nine tricks. A spade to the king loses to the ace and East returns a club to dummy’s king. South sheds a heart on the jack of spades, as does West. What now?

You could hope for a favorable split in diamonds or you could give up a spade and set up the last spade as your ninth trick. The defense would then prevail if one opponent, presumably West, started with five clubs. That would be sad, indeed, if the diamonds were splitting 3-3 all along. The answer is back at trick one. What club did West lead? Were your eyes open?

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It was the two! West might have made a deceptive lead, but the opponents usually tell the truth early in a deal because they do not want to deceive their partner.

The fourth best lead tells you that the winning play is to give up a spade. They will not have enough club tricks to defeat you.

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