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Always give a good answer

July 14, 1958
July 14, 1958

Table of Contents
July 14, 1958

Fisherman's Calendar
Americans Abroad
British Golf
Spectacle
  • Heat and politics may scorch their lovely capital, but Parisians have an escape right in the heart of town—the Deligny swimming pool

Wonderful World Of Sport
Boating
Fitness
Horse Show
Sport In Art
Nature
Baseball
19th Hole: The Readers Take Over
Pat On The Back

Always give a good answer

In recent times we have observed a tendency on the part of the vast body of players to overemphasize the new and exotic conventions in contract bridge. Every new bidding device is warmly embraced by the very players who are notoriously neglectful of some of the simple conventions of card play that might be translated into thousands of points on the score sheet.

This is an article from the July 14, 1958 issue Original Layout

It is extraordinary how many players muddle through a lifetime of bridge without acquainting themselves with such an important convention of defensive play as which card to select when returning the suit partner has led.

If the leader's partner originally held two or three of the suit, he returns the top card remaining; if he started with four or more, he should return the card which was originally his fourth best. The precise information conveyed by this convention was put to excellent use by the defenders in this crucial deal.

North's rebid of two diamonds has the endorsement of this department. Players reluctant to make a minimum rebid might choose the call of two clubs, but we do not approve of showing a four-card suit before rebidding a six-carder. Many players stand in fear of being dropped prematurely if their rebid has a slightly discouraging ring. Actually, if South subsides after North's two-diamond rebid, the combined hands will hardly rate to produce game. South, however, was strong enough to persist to game in spite of North's warning that he had a 6-4 distribution with nothing to contribute in spades and hearts.

West's spade opening was won by East's king. East returned the 8, South covered with the 10, and West was called upon to render the crucial decision which would make or break the defense.

Although the second trick was not yet completed, West had sufficient data at his disposal to play with absolute certainty. East cannot have held the king and queen of spades or his first play would have been the queen. Neither can he have begun with four spades, for his return card—the 8-spot—could not be his original fourth best. However, East must have another spade, otherwise South would have a five-card suit which he surely must have mentioned at some time during the auction. So, after playing the 10 of spades, South remains with the queen and one other card, providing him with a sure stopper. Finally, East must have the king of diamonds—if for no other reason than that unless he holds it there is no hope to defeat the contract.

West's proper play, if the defense is to prevail, demands that he leave East with a spade for communication purposes. So West allowed declarer's 10 of spades to hold the second trick.

It was abundantly clear to South what West was up to, but what could South do about it? He could not make the game without the diamond suit, and when he finessed for the king he lost the trick to East. The lead of East's remaining spade trapped declarer's queen, and the defenders collected four spades and one diamond trick to break the contract.

EXTRA TRICK
South did miss a trick, although in this instance it would not have helped. If West had the king of diamonds, declarer could well afford to make him a present of a trick, for the spade queen was safe unless East got the lead. Therefore, declarer's first lead should have been a diamond to dummy's ace! The forlorn chance that East held the blank king was well worth the possible loss of an unimportant overtrick.

PHOTO

Both sides vulnerable North dealer

NORTH

[9 of Spades]
[10 of Hearts]
[4 of Hearts]
[Ace of Clubs]
[Queen of Clubs]
[8 of Clubs]
[6 of Clubs]
[Ace of Diamonds]
[Queen of Diamonds]
[Jack of Diamonds]
[9 of Diamonds]
[8 of Diamonds]
[4 of Diamonds]

WEST

[Ace of Spades]

[Jack of Spades]
[5 of Spades]
[4 of Spades]
[2 of Spades]
[Queen of Hearts]
[Jack of Hearts]
[9 of Clubs]
[4 of Clubs]
[2 of Clubs]
[7 of Diamonds]
[6 of Diamonds]
[5 of Diamonds]

SOUTH

[Queen of Spades]
[10 of Spades]
[7 of Spades]
[6 of Spades]
[Ace of Hearts]
[King of Hearts]
[5 of Hearts]
[3 of Hearts]
[2 of Hearts]
[King of Clubs]
[7 of Clubs]
[10 of Diamonds]
[3 of Diamonds]

EAST

[King of Spades]
[8 of Spades]
[3 of Spades]
[9 of Hearts]
[8 of Hearts]
[7 of Hearts]
[6 of Hearts]
[Jack of Clubs]
[10 of Clubs]
[5 of Clubs]
[3 of Clubs]
[King of Diamonds]
[2 of Diamonds]

NORTH

1 [Diamond]
2 [Diamond]
3 [Club]
PASS

EAST

PASS
PASS
PASS
PASS

SOUTH

1 [Heart]
2 N.T.
3 N.T.

WEST

PASS
PASS
PASS

Opening lead: spade 4