Avoiding a trap
Some hands have built-in traps designed to catch the unwary. Take this case where West leads the K-A of hearts against South’s four-spade contract. After ruffing the second heart, declarer plays the ace of spades followed by a spade to the king, on which West shows out.
If declarer now made the mistake of drawing East’s remaining trumps, he would at the same time exhaust his own and find it impossible to make the contract. He therefore delays the extraction of trumps in order to first force out the ace of clubs.
But when he leads the four from dummy, on which East follows with the eight and South the queen, West ducks and thereby defeats the contract. After West’s duck, declarer can do no better than play another club. This time West wins with the ace and, having noted his partner’s high-low to show a doubleton, returns a club. East ruffs and later gets a diamond trick to set the contract.
However, South can get home safely if, at the start, he takes steps to protect against a possible 4-1 trump division. Instead of ruffing the ace of hearts at trick two, he should discard a diamond — which is a loser in any case — in order to maintain control of the trump suit.
Once declarer does this, he is on Easy Street. West cannot shorten him in trumps by continuing hearts, since South can ruff the third heart in dummy, while any other lead allows declarer to draw trumps and then safely force out the ace of clubs.
Bridge club results
The Northampton Bridge Club welcomes anyone who wishes to play duplicate bridge. Open pairs game: 7 p.m. every Tuesday at the Clarion Hotel & Conference Center, 1 Atwood Drive, Northampton. The club manager is available at 253-3508 to assist players in need of partners. The club’s website is www.northamptonbridgeclub.com.
There were 12 tables in play June 25.
North-South, overall winners: Paul Bacon-Philippe Galaski, 68.18; James Hastings-John Sedgwick, 60.23; Evalyn Glickman-Roger Miller, 56.82; Irene Friedman-Henry Hewitt, 52.08; Marilyn Schmidt-Sheila Ryan, 52.08; Strata B: Evalyn Glickman-Roger Miller, 56.82; Strata C: Marilyn Schmidt-Sheila Ryan, 52.08;
East-West, overall winners: Sonja Smith-David Rock, 64.20; Edward Hougen-Bernard Miller, 57.20; Myrna Butler-Leo Sartori, 57.01; James Osofsky-Markus Wagner, 56.63; Barry LaFlam-Richard McClure, 52.46; Robert Sagor-Arthur Giovannangeli, 51.89; Fran Becker-Mike Becker, 50.95; Strata B: Edward Hougen-Bernard Miller, 57.20; Strata C: Barry LaFlam-Richard McClure, 52.46