Thrust and parry

Bob Jones 23 October 2021 16:46 IST
Updated: 22 October 2021 12:48 IST

Hard Luck Louie picked up the hand of a lifetime in the club’s Saturday night duplicate. He jumped to slam when he learned that partner had at least three-card spade support.

Louie won the opening heart lead perforce and cashed the ace and king of spades. Had both opponents followed, or if the jack had fallen singleton, Louie would have a simple route to 12 tricks. None of that happened, so Louie left the jack of trumps outstanding and cashed the ace, king, and queen of diamonds. Had East ruffed, the 10 of spades would be an entry to dummy and Louie would be able to discard two clubs on the diamonds. East, a wily veteran, saw what was happening and refused to ruff. Louie drew the last trump in frustration and went through the motions, but he ended up down one.

Lucky Larry declared the same contract and faced the same opening lead. He won in hand and cashed only the ace of trumps. He left the trumps alone and cashed all three high diamonds. Had either opponent ruffed. Larry could have drawn the last trump and crossed to dummy with the 10 of spades. East at Larry’s table also refused to ruff, so Larry led his nine of spades and overtook it with dummy’s 10. East was helpless. He won with his jack and tried to cash a heart, but Larry ruffed high and led the four of spades to dummy’s seven. This drew the last trump and provided an entry to the diamonds. Well done!

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