Bridge By The Lake
By Ken Masson
When I was preparing to write this month’s column, Herself reminded me that I hadn’t featured one of her well-played hands lately, so this is an opportunity to redeem myself.
Among the things that make bridge so challenging is the wide variety of ways that are used to achieve our goals. Choosing the right method at the right time can often make the difference between success and failure. In the illustrated hand Herself sitting South dealt and opened the hand one club. I responded one diamond and she bid one spade which we play as forcing for one round, I had a simple rebid of 2 diamonds which was all Herself needed to jump to 3 no trump.
West led the nine of hearts, the unbid suit, and Herself paused to plan her play. It was obvious to her that the diamond suit would play an important roll in her success or failure. She also needed entries to cash diamonds once they have been set up. If she were to cover the opening lead with the king and East played low Herself would no longer be able to make the contract, first inclination from many players in the East position would be to cover the jack with the king but if East plays low, as he should, declarer would go down.
Armed with this analysis, Declarer won the opening lead in hand with the heart ace and ran the diamond jack which East ducked so Herself continued with the diamond 3 and was now sure to win 11 tricks
But the sad fact is that many declarers would impulsively play the jack of hearts at trick one and after East played low, declarer then starts to think about how to play the hand. They would play in haste but repent at leisure.
I’m glad I was playing with the right partner that day!