Bridge By The Lake
By Ken Masson
Fifty years ago the Beatles told us they could get by with a little help from their friends. The same philosophy sometimes applies when you are declaring a tricky bridge contract and you can’t manufacture enough tricks - you can call upon your opponents (your new friends!) to help you out. A good example was the illustrated deal which was played at the Lake Chapala Duplicate Bridge Club in Riberas.
South opened the bidding 1 heart, West passed and North bid Jacoby 2 NT, a conventional call showing four or more hearts and at least game going values. South bid game in hearts, showing a minimum opening bid with no singleton or void, and all passed.
The queen of spades was led and South counted his losers: three diamonds and one club. Something had to be done to condense these four losers into three.
Declarer saw that if he could get the opponents to open up the diamond suit there would only be two losers there, so he set about an elimination play. Winning the opening lead in hand, declarer drew trumps in three rounds, played his seven of spades to dummy’s king, ruffed dummy’s last spade in hand and played the ace, king and a third round of clubs, allowing the defence to earn its first trick.
It didn’t matter which defender won the club trick - that defender would be end played and would have to lead diamonds, or lead another suit and give declarer a ruff and sluff. In either event declarer was sure to make the required ten tricks.
Column: Bridge by the Lake
Ken Masson has been playing, teaching and writing about bridge for more than 40 years. Originally from Dublin, Ireland, Ken has been living in the Toronto area since 1967. He and his wife and bridge partner Rosemarie have been wintering in Lakeside since 2006. Even after all these years of playing they find bridge to be a constant challenge and enjoy sharing some of their triumphs and mishaps with Ojo readers in each column.