Goren Bridge Society

Good inference

Both vulnerable, South deals

Today’s deal is from a National pairs competition some years ago. South was Steve Sanborn, an expert who splits his time between New York and Florida. Sanborn appreciated the potential of his hand after the splinter bid, but neither player had enough to move beyond four hearts. Few pairs would reach slam on this deal, and they might fail, so Sanborn would get an excellent score if he could take 12 tricks.

Sanborn won the opening spade lead with the ace and ruffed a spade in dummy. Should the trumps split 2-2, 12 tricks would be easy. West was known to have 10 cards in his two suits, so the trumps were quite likely to be splitting 3-1. A low trump from dummy would see East play the eight. The three missing hearts were the king, queen, and 10. West was twice as likely to have a singleton king or queen as opposed to the singleton 10. The winning play would then be the ace, felling the singleton honour, another spade ruff in dummy and a lead toward the jack of hearts would get 12 tricks.

Sanborn didn’t lead a low trump from dummy, but chose the nine instead. When East followed smoothly with the eight, Sanborn reasoned that he would have covered the nine if he held both the 10 and eight, so he inserted his jack and romped home with 12 tricks and a great score.

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Printable version | May 29, 2020 8:18:56 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/society/good-inference/article24474577.ece

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