Handle with care
There are many hands where it is vital for declarer not to lose a trick to a particular defender. Sometimes declarer might have to play with great care to achieve this goal. Here is a typical case.
West leads the K-Q-J of hearts against three notrump, South winning the third heart with the ace. Declarer’s only chance for nine tricks lies in establishing the club suit. But there is a danger that if he leads the A-K and another club, West will win the third club and cash two hearts to defeat the contract.
To combat this possibility, declarer should adjust his play of the clubs so that he succeeds not only when East has three clubs and West two, but also in those few cases where West has three clubs and yet can be prevented from gaining the lead as the clubs are being developed.
South therefore crosses to dummy with a spade at trick four and returns a club. When East produces the nine, declarer goes up with the ace, returns to dummy with a diamond and leads another club.
This time East produces the queen, and South ducks. When West follows suit, the contract is home. Declarer wins any return and has nine tricks.
Note that East cannot foil declarer by playing the queen on the first club lead from dummy. In that case, South simply lets East hold the trick and establishes four club tricks in a slightly different manner.
Declarer hopes from the start that West has two clubs and East three, but at the same time allows for the possibility that if East has only two clubs, one of them is the queen. When this proves to be the case, South is rewarded for his careful handling of the suit.
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 Sept. 3.
North-South, overall winners: Roger Webb-Philippe Galaski, 60.65; Muriel Dane-Myrna Butler, 58.33; Evalyn Glickman-Roger Miller, 54.17; Esther Bean-Donald Abel, 54.17; Steve Peck-Earl Waterman, 53.94; John Sedgwick-Paul Bacon, 52.55; Irene Friedman-Henry Hewitt, 51.16; Strata B: Steve Peck-Earl Waterman, 53.94; Strata C: Alan Peterfreund-Norman Brown, 45.37;
East-West, overall winners: Sonja Smith-David Rock, 60.65; Leo Sartori-James Osofsky, 54.86; Richard McClure-Barry LaFlam, 53.47; Sheila Ryan-Marilyn Schmidt, 53.24; Marlene Myers-Maxine Cechvala, 52.55; Susan McCoy-Lee Magee, 51.39; Jean Cernak-Kevin Vance, 51.39; Robert Sagor-Michael Ramella, 50.93; Strata B: Richard McClure-Barry LaFlam, 53.47; Strata C: Richard McClure-Barry LaFlam, 53.47