Bridge | 23 May 2020

23 May 2020

9:00 AM

23 May 2020

9:00 AM

Well, what can I say? I have been nowhere. Seen no one. Done nothing. Unless you count watching damaging amounts of TV, going for a little stroll (not) every day, reading and, ofc, playing bridge online. It’s enough already. I miss normal life — and I don’t just mean hugging the grandchildren (who, btw, loathe hugging but love playing cards). It’s all the clichéd things that I am lucky enough to take for granted.

But some things can’t be rushed, as today’s hand ever so cleverly illustrates in the diagram.

West led the ♥3 to the Ace, and a small Heart was returned to the Queen and King. West paused. It was clear the defence could take the first four tricks, but was it right to do so? If they cash their four tricks in Hearts, when declarer takes Ace, King and Queen of Clubs it squeezes East’s hand to a pulp; he has to give up on either Diamonds or Spades. Even a third Heart can’t be cashed as East will be forced to pitch his last Heart on the run of the three top clubs and he can safely be given a trick in Diamonds or Spades.

The right defence is to leave Hearts alone after two rounds and wait for the hand to ‘mature’. If declarer tries to set up one of his suits, E/W are ready to pounce with their Hearts.

However, the defence were not the only ones who could see this line; declarer had another string to his bow. He entered dummy with a Diamond and played a third round of Hearts himself! This ingeniously restored parity, and the top Clubs later forced East to give up.

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