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   Nov.  13/99

 

JUST BRIDGE...

 

TRUMPS TAKE A BACK SEAT

 

by Beverly Kraft -Eric Kokish

 

 South is expected to hold an excellent suit for his vulnerable three-bid. Even if North passes 3 in tempo it is against the odds that East will have both the distribution and the high cards to reopen the bidding and perhaps incur a penalty. South expects to take six or seven tricks on his own, most of them in his suit. With three sure tricks and a couple of "accompanying" jacks, game in spades may be laydown or it may have a fair play. The bottom line is that North ought to bid it.

 West leads the
J against 4 and South wins the ace. Nine tricks are easy and a tenth might come from the club suit. Can you foresee any difficulties against normal breaks?

Both sides vulnerable South deals

 
A J 6 4 3
A 6 4 2

A J 6 2

   
  K Q J 10 9 8 6
9
7

9 7 5 3

West North East South
      3
Pass 4 End  


Opening Lead:
J

If trumps are three-three and clubs three-two, nothing bad can happen. The normal break in trumps, however, is four-two. If you ruff a diamond to play on trumps, you may run out of trumps before you have a chance to develop a long club. West will win the
A and play a third diamond for you to ruff. When you draw three more rounds of spades, you will have only one left. Now, you will need to play clubs for only one loser (distinctly against the odds) because you can afford to lose the lead only once more.

 It is considerably better play to start clubs at trick two, before ruffing yourself to hand to drive out the trump ace. Play ace and another club. As long as clubs are three-two you will have time to develop a long trick in the suit. Lose the second round of clubs, accept the diamond force, knock out the
A, take a further tap, draw trumps, concede a club. You still have a trump and when you ruff with it, you will cash that club you worked so hard to establish.

 The principle of establishing the side suit first has many applications. On this deal it might be a slight stretch to think in terms of developing a long trick in clubs, but in truth, it's a classic illustration of the concept.

 

 
A J 6 4 3
A 6 4 2

A J 6 2

A 4
K 10 8 7 5 2
J 10 9

8 4

7 5 3 2
Q
K Q 8 5 3

K Q 10

  K Q J 10 9 8 6
9
7

9 7 5 3