Source: Ludington Daily News – 30 Sep 2005

What is the primary reason that experts can play bridge better than non experts?

A clue can be found in this quotation by basketball coach John Wooden: It is what we learn after we think we know it all that counts.

Right — counting. The more counting you do — points, winners, losers, points again, more points! — the better you will play. This deal is an easy example.

Dealer: East, Neither Vul

A 10 9 6
Q J
A K 5
9 8 6 3
5
10 8 7 5 4 3
9 7 4 2
10 2
Q 7 2
9 6 2
J 8 3
A K Q J
K J 8 3
A K
Q 10 6
7 5 4
West North East South
1 1
Pass 4 Pass Pass
Pass

Opening lead: 10

You are South, the, declarer in four spades after East has opened one club. West leads the club 10. East overtakes with the jack, cashes the club ace, takes the club king (West discarding a low heart and continues with the club queen.

What would you do now? Also, what do you think of the auction?

Phillip Alder
Phillip Alder

After South made the automatic one-spade overcall. North jumped straight to four spades. It was unlikely that they had a slam alter East had opened. North, though, might have started with a two-club cue-bid raise, which would protruse spade support with at least Imut-nuse values: 10-plus points or at most eight losers. At trick four, you must decide who holds the spade queen.

If it is West, you must ruff with the spade king, then finesse through West. But if it is East, you should trump with the spade eight (or Jack), then cross to dummy; spade ace, and play a spade through East, finessing if his queen has not appeared. Count the points. Dummy has 14 and you hold 13. That leaves only 13 for the opponents, yet East opened, he must have the spade queen. Ruff with your spade eight.