Friday, August 1, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Bridge by Frank Stewart

"I've decided my bridge would benefit if I took up yoga," Unlucky Louie told us in the club lounge. "It would help my concentration."

"The next time you're at the dentist," Cy the Cynic advised, "tell him you don't want any painkiller. You can transcend dental medication."

"Go ahead and make your jokes," Louie growled, "but meditating is better than just sitting around doing nothing."

Louie was today's East. When West led the jack of clubs against four spades, Louie took his ace and concentrated fiercely, but he finally decided that his best defense was to do nothing: He would sit back and wait for two heart tricks. So Louie led a diamond.

South won and started the trumps, and Louie took his ace and exited with a trump. Declarer drew trumps, cashed the queen of clubs, led a diamond to dummy, and discarded a heart on the king of clubs. He lost one heart but made his game.

In many deals, a "passive" defense is best: When you must lead, you try for safety. You don't lead something that will give declarer a trick that isn't his anyway.

This was not such a deal. Louie can count five trump tricks, three diamonds and two clubs for South. The defenders must win four tricks before South takes 10.

Louie's only chance is to get a club ruff, hence he must find a way to give West the lead. At Trick Two Louie leads the queen of hearts. When South takes dummy's king and leads a trump, Louie wins, leads a low heart, finds West with the jack, and ruffs the club return for down one.


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