It looks the same, but it is different
Updated: 2014-09-20 14:46
By Phillip Alder(China Daily)
Anne Frank wrote, "We all live with the objective of being happy; our lives are all different and yet the same."
Today's deal looks similar to yesterday's, but the correct declarer play is different. As in yesterday's column, South is in six spades and West leads the heart queen. How should declarer continue?
When North had just enough to raise two spades to three spades, South bid what he hoped he could make.
If declarer were asked immediately to state a line of play, he would probably say that he would take two diamond finesses, getting to the dummy once with the spade queen and once with a heart ruff.
Yes, that is a 76 percent line of play, but loses with this layout. However, there is an even better strategy. Do you see it?
Dummy has few values, but its three honor cards can all be used with effect. After taking the first trick with his heart ace, South should cash his spade ace, club ace and heart king. Then he ruffs his third heart on the board and leads the club queen.
If East can cover with the king, South ruffs, plays a spade to dummy's queen, and discards a diamond on the club jack. Here, though, when East plays a low club, declarer pitches his diamond 10.
Suppose that West wins with his king and leads his last trump. South takes the trick in the dummy and throws his diamond queen on the club jack. He loses only one club and wins six spades, two hearts, one diamond, two clubs and the heart ruff.