By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Bridge 6/26
Who is in control: dummy or declarer?
Placeholder Image
    In most bridge deals played with a trump suit, declarer's hand takes the majority of the tricks — but not always.
    Here, South is in four hearts. West leads the spade two. The defense takes the first three tricks in the suit, then West exits with a trump. How should South continue?
    North and South were using splinter bids. So, when North learned that his partner had four hearts, he double-jumped to four clubs, even though it was South's first-bid suit. North's rebid promised at least game-going values with four-card heart support and a singleton (or void) in clubs. South, with a minimum opening, settled for four hearts. (If splinters were not being used, North should just jump to four hearts.)
    Note West's lead. It is usually better not to select a suit bid by an opponent (unless you think a trump is right). And North's splinter hinted at a slam. This suggests that an aggressive lead will be best.
    South has no more immediate losers, but neither does he have 10 tricks.
    The deal would be tailor-made for a crossruff if declarer had stronger trumps. Here, though, South should try to establish the North hand by ruffing those diamonds good.
    After taking the fourth trick on the board, declarer should cash dummy's diamond ace, ruff a diamond low in his hand, play a trump to the board, and ruff a diamond with the heart ace. When nothing nasty happens, South cashes his club ace, ruffs a club on the board, draws the outstanding trump, and claims because the dummy is high.
Sign up for the Herald's free e-newsletter