Wednesday, August 20, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Bridge by Frank Stewart

Cy the Cynic says that anyone who doesn't think every argument has two sides is probably in the middle of having one.

Today's East doubled four spades as a sure bet. He had two trump tricks and a near-certainty of scoring a ruff with his low trump.

West led the jack of hearts, and South won with the ace and led a trump. West discarded the nine of diamonds, and East won and shifted to the deuce of diamonds. But when West took the ace, he returned a diamond, thinking East might have had a singleton in that suit.

South pitched a heart on dummy's king and led another trump, and East took the ace and led the jack of clubs. South played low, ruffed in dummy, and drew East's last trump.

On that trick, West couldn't find a winning discard. If he threw another diamond, South could ruff a diamond in his hand, setting up dummy's fourth diamond. If West bared his ace of clubs, South could ruff a club in dummy to set up his king. If West threw a heart, declarer would win four heart tricks.

So South wound up making four spades doubled. It was a painful loss for East-West, especially since only good defense would have beaten East at five clubs, and the argument was heated.

What, in your opinion, was the worst defensive play?

Every argument has two sides, but I sympathize with West. Perhaps East should have led a club when he took the king of trumps. When he got back in with the ace of trumps and led a diamond, West might draw the subtle inference that East wanted to ruff a heart, not a diamond.

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