Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 2, 2009
By Phillip Alder
Newspaper Enterprise Assn.
Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, “Be not the slave of your own past. Plunge into the sublime seas, dive deep and swim far, so you shall come back with self-respect, with new power, with an advanced experience that shall explain and overlook the old.”
Dive back to the bridge table, remembering ó and avoiding ó your past mistakes. You are South, the declarer in four hearts. West leads the club jack. East wins with his ace and returns a club to your king. How would you continue?
North had an in-between hand. With 10 high-card points, he had a tad too much to raise one heart to two hearts; but with nine losers, the Losing Trick Count says that is all the hand is worth. Overbidding by a whisker, North responded one spade, planning to rebid three hearts. South, who had too many points to rebid just two diamonds but did not like to jump to three diamonds, sensibly compromised with a rebid of two no-trump, showing 18 or 19 points (or a poor 20) and a balanced hand.
South saw that he had to lose a trick in each black suit, so had to avoid conceding two diamond tricks. That would be easy if the diamond finesse was working or the suit was dividing 3-3, but what if West had started with four or five to the queen?
South cashed his diamond ace, played a trump to the board, and called for a diamond. When East followed, declarer won with his king and gave up a diamond. A moment later, South ruffed his diamond jack with dummy’s heart queen and swam safely to the surface.