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   Dec. 15/99

 

JUST BRIDGE...

 

WHEN IN DOUBT
RUN THE LONG SUIT

 

by Beverly Kraft -Eric Kokish

 

 Although the late Hugh Kelsey of Scotland was one of the best bridge writers ever, his largely practical books have often been neglected by developing players who fear their complexity.

Both sides vulnerable West deals

  A K J 10 3
Q 4
K 9 8 5 2

7

   
  Q 5
K J 9 6 2
A 10

Q 10 9 4

West North East South
Pass 1 Pass 2
Pass 2 Pass 2NT
Pass 3 Pass 3NT
End      


Opening Lead:
3

 Cover the East-West hands and plan the play as South on today's deal, from Kelsey's "Bridge Wizardry." Says Kelsey as a foreword, "You don't have to be a wizard of squeeze play technique. Just play cards and hope for the best."

 West leads the
3. East wins the club king, cashes the ace, and plays the six. You discard two diamonds from dummy and win the queen, your eighth winner. West followed to the second and third clubs with the five and eight, suggesting that the suit is four-four and that you are in no danger. West is under no obligation to play his cards in normal order, however. If he started with five clubs (and has concealed the two) you will go down if you play on hearts for your ninth trick and West holds the ace. That is the straightforward play, of course.

 It cannot hurt to run the spades first, discarding a club and two hearts from hand. On this layout West is blessed with too many valuable assets. He can part with three hearts easily but the last spade destroys him. He cannot part with a club or the
A and so discards a diamond, harmless if East has the tripleton ten. West would not discard a potentially valuable diamond to keep a small heart so it seems right to cash the ace and king of diamonds, which happens to bring in the contract. Dummy's 9, which is known as "the curse of Scotland," is no curse this time; it is your ninth trick.

 A good declarer (like you) will usually be able to read the position accurately when there have been several discards by the opponents so running a long suit usually a good idea. Note, however, that you would go down on a cold hand playing this way if West started with 1444 shape. Cashing the high diamonds would establish the setting trick for the defence.

 

  A K J 10 3
Q 4
K 9 8 5 2

7

8
A 10 8 3
Q J 4

J 8 5 3 2

9 7 6 4 2
7 5
7 6 3

A K 6

  Q 5
K J 9 6 2
A 10

Q 10 9 4