By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Bridge 12/22
The Greeks can be sneaky players
Placeholder Image
    Most Chinese fortune cookie mottoes are uninteresting, but I had one last month that was good: A bargain is something you don't need at a price you can't resist.
    Some tricks at the bridge table appear to be bargains, but they prove to be expensive. How does that apply in this deal? You are the declarer in three no-trump. West leads fourth-highest from his longest and strongest, the diamond five. How would you plan the play?
    With seven points and a six-card suit, you must bite the fast-moving metal projectile and respond one no-trump. You are not strong enough to bid two clubs. (Some pairs would respond three clubs, a weak jump shift, but I do not like that method ... to put it mildly.)
    Clearly, if you are to get home, you will need to establish and run your club suit. But the defender with the ace will duck the first round of the suit, assuming he learned the game more than five minutes ago. He will take the second club, once dummy has been denuded of the suit. Then you will need a hand entry to reach your four club tricks. What is that entry?
    It can come only from your diamond holding.
    You must take the first trick with dummy's diamond ace; do not accept a bargain with your jack or queen. Then drive out the club ace. When you are back on lead, play a diamond yourself to force an entry to your hand.
    Note that if you take the first trick in your hand, careful defense will defeat you by keeping you out of your hand, away from your club winners.
Sign up for the Herald's free e-newsletter