ADVANTAGES OF A CHEERFUL FRONT

November 04, 1957

It is difficult to measure the attribute of confidence in terms of tricks, but I would venture an unusually high estimate of the number of contracts whose success can be directly assigned to the maintenance of a stiff upper lip by the declarer during his darkest hours. This hand was played in a duplicate:

NORTH

[King of Spades]
[Jack of Spades]
[4 of Spades]
[2 of Spades]
[King of Hearts]
[5 of Hearts]
[3 of Hearts]
[2 of Hearts]
[Queen of Clubs]
[10 of Clubs]
[2 of Clubs]
[Queen of Diamonds]
[8 of Diamonds]

WEST

[8 of Spades]
[7 of Spades]
[6 of Spades]
[Jack of Hearts]
[10 of Hearts]
[8 of Hearts]
[King of Clubs]
[3 of Clubs]
[Ace of Diamonds]
[Jack of Diamonds]
[9 of Diamonds]
[7 of Diamonds]
[4 of Diamonds]

SOUTH

[Ace of Spades]
[9 of Spades]
[5 of Spades]
[Ace of Hearts]
[9 of Hearts]
[4 of Hearts]
[Ace of Clubs]
[Jack of Clubs]
[9 of Clubs]
[7 of Clubs]
[5 of Clubs]
[King of Diamonds]
[2 of Diamonds]

EAST

[Queen of Spades]
[10 of Spades]
[3 of Spades]
[Queen of Hearts]
[7 of Hearts]
[6 of Hearts]
[8 of Clubs]
[6 of Clubs]
[4 of Clubs]
[10 of Diamonds]
[6 of Diamonds]
[5 of Diamonds]
[3 of Diamonds]

SOUTH

1 [Club]
1 no trump
3 no trump

WEST

1 [Diamond]
Pass
Pass

NORTH

1 [Sapde]
2 no trump
Pass

EAST

Pass
Pass
Pass

The lead in all cases was the 7 of diamonds. One declarer played low from dummy and was forced to win the trick with the king. As a result, when West won the inevitable club finesse, nothing was left to his imagination. Proper technique calls for the queen at the opening trick, because it will leave West in doubt when he gains the lead with the king of clubs. West knows that declarer holds the king of diamonds; if it is still guarded, the play of the ace will establish another winner for South. So, in some cases, West decided to exit with the jack of hearts. Of course, South promptly ran for cover.

At one table, South made the right play but the wrong face. He won the first trick with dummy's queen of diamonds, but when the club finesse lost there was a distinct falling of declarer's chin, which West did not fail to observe. So, when West took his king of clubs he promptly played the ace of diamonds and struck oil. A cheerful front by declarer might have rendered West's problem more acute.

Emoting aside, West's play of the diamond ace at trick three is logical. He must realize that no effort to get partner in posthaste is apt to succeed. The bidding fairly marks declarer with both major aces so West's only real chance is to play for the king of diamonds to fall.

PHOTO ILLUSTRATION

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)