HAPPY NEW YEAR, EVERYONE!
I have made a resolution to make some bridge resolutions. Here they are:
1. When declaring, I will never again play to the first trick in a nanosecond. I will explain to the opps, in an insufferably smug tone, that I always take at least two minutes to plan the play.
2. I will NOT play for six hours a day and then hit Bridge Baron obsessively the minute I get home.
3. I will watch partner’s signals religiously, rather than pick at my chipped nail.
4. I will read more bridge books.
Today’s hand comes from Lukacs’ and Rubens’ Test Your Play as Declarer and neatly covers resolutions 1 and 4.
West led the 3 and the key play occurred at trick one. If declarer wins with the K and tries to draw trump, because they split 4–1 he is down. The best he can do is switch to diamonds, but after three rounds, when he plays A, West ruffs and the defence take two clubs and a heart. Playing a spade back to hand is no better. When he discards a heart on the last diamond, and plays a heart to the Ace, West pitches a club and the defence again take two clubs, a spade and a heart.
It’s all so enviably easy if declarer wins the first trick in dummy with the Ace. He continues with two top trumps, three rounds of diamonds, a spade to the Queen, Ace pitching his heart loser, and when he advances the K from hand, West cannot prevent him ruffing his losing heart in dummy. Ten tricks. Happy days.
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