By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Bridge 11/10
Counting counts count on it
Placeholder Image
    Aristotle Onassis said, "After a certain point, money is meaningless. It ceases to be the goal. The game is what counts."
    How nice to be in that position! In bridge, though, counting is the game. The more counting you do, the more successful you will be — count on it.
    You are in seven hearts. Appropriately, West leads the heart seven: two, eight, nine. You continue with your heart three: four, 10, diamond four. Now what 13 tricks are you counting on collecting?
    North's four-club bid said that he had four-card heart support, had the club ace, and loved his hand for hearts. South's five no-trump announced that they had all the aces, that he was thinking about a grand slam, and asked for kings. But North, with such strong trumps, jumped to that grand slam.
    There are 11 top tricks: three spades, four hearts, one diamond and three clubs. If hearts had broken 3-2, you could have drawn trumps and established your spades even if they were 4-1. Not now. You could play out all of your trumps and rely on a 3-2 spade split, but that fails here.
    With seven side-suit tricks, bring in six trump tricks. Ruff two diamonds in your hand.
    After two rounds of trumps, play a diamond to your ace, lead a spade to dummy's ace, trump a diamond in your hand, cross to dummy with a club, ruff another diamond, return to dummy with a club, pull trumps, and claim.
    Keep counting!
Sign up for the Herald's free e-newsletter