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A foresight saga

Sept. 26, 1960
Sept. 26, 1960

Table of Contents
Sept. 26, 1960

Thoroughbred Racing
Yesterday
Editorials
Baltimore Bubble
High Level
A Brave Challenge
National Football League Preview
College Football
Boating
Food
Giants
Acknowledgments
19th Hole: The Readers Take Over
Pat On The Back

A foresight saga

I am often asked what distinguishes a good bridge player from a very good one. There are many qualities, of course, that go into the making of an expert, and no two masters share all their talents in equal amounts. However, I have never known one who did not possess to an unusual degree the ability to look into the future.

This is an article from the Sept. 26, 1960 issue Original Layout

In the following hand only one player foresaw the outcome. The deal would have been routine if West had paid attention to his partner's double with its implied signal for the proper lead. He did not, and so the result hung on whether South or East could look further ahead. The winner of this foresight contest proved himself an expert; the loser—well, he was just the loser.

The common type of penalty double is not very useful against a slam contract bid by competent opponents, and so a slam double is given a special meaning by good players. It calls for a lead that will, the doubler believes or hopes, afford the best chance to defeat the contract. As a rule, it asks for a lead of that suit first bid by the dummy; and in any case, it warns against leading the unbid suit, or any other "natural" lead.

East doubled because he felt that a club opening might be essential to set the contract—and as it happened, he was right. But West opened the jack of diamonds and that gave declarer a chance.

Dummy's queen won the diamond trick. It took three rounds of trumps to exhaust East. South then came to his hand by leading a diamond to the ace. He cashed the diamond king and led a spade to dummy's 10. He knew from East's conventional double of the slam that the king of clubs was offside and his hope was to find West with the queen of spades. If dummy's 10 forced the ace, East would be hooked. South would ruff a diamond return and take another spade finesse; a spade return would take the finesse for declarer, while a club would insure that no club trick need be lost.

The spade lie was as declarer hoped, but East declined to cooperate—he ducked the spade 10. Now declarer couldn't get out of dummy without leading a black suit. He tried to recover by leading dummy's king of spades. West's queen didn't drop, but there was still a hope. If East didn't have a fourth diamond, he might have to lead a spade for South to trump, or make the suicidal club return.

But East did have a fourth diamond and led it. South had to trump and nothing could prevent him from losing a trick in clubs.

The solution of South's problem had to be reached at Trick 1. He should have won the diamond lead in his own hand and immediately led up to dummy's spades. If East ducked the 10, declarer should take only one round of trumps, then overtake dummy's diamond queen to lead a second spade from his hand.

The third diamond trick was unessential. Declarer could afford to ruff one diamond in dummy if he could provide for a club discard on the spades.

EXTRA TRICK
Sometimes an additional trick is worth far less than a needed entry. In your reluctance to squander a high card don't sacrifice the contract.

PHOTO

Neither side vulnerable North dealer

NORTH

[King of Spades]
[Jack of Spades]
[10 of Spades]
[5 of Spades]
[Ace of Hearts]
[King of Hearts]
[Queen of Hearts]
[Ace of Clubs]
[Jack of Clubs]
[9 of Clubs]
[6 of Clubs]
[Queen of Diamonds]
[7 of Diamonds]

WEST

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

SOUTH

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

EAST

[Ace of Spades]
[9 of Spades]
[7 of Spades]
[6 of Spades]
[8 of Hearts]
[4 of Hearts]
[3 of Hearts]
[King of Clubs]
[8 of Clubs]
[5 of Diamonds]
[4 of Diamonds]
[3 of Diamonds]
[2 of Diamonds]

NORTH

1 [Club]
2 [Spade]
4 [Heart]
5 [Heart]
PASS
PASS

EAST

PASS
PASS
PASS
PASS
DOUBLE

SOUTH

1 [Heart]
2 N.T.
4 N.T.
6 [Heart]
PASS

WEST

PASS
PASS
PASS
PASS
PASS

Opening lead: jack of diamonds