Colin Firth, Oscar winner for "The King's Speech," said, "Almost every comedy you see is about people making all wrong choices and making all the errors of judgment possible. Good comedy is when it works on this scale, because it is psychologically very real."
Almost every bridge deal you see is about players making wrong choices and errors of judgment. Good bridge is when this does not happen.
In today's deal, South is in three no-trump after East made a one-spade overcall. West leads the spade seven. Should declarer call for dummy's six, 10 or queen?
South is not fond of responding one no-trump with only one spade stopper, but he has little choice. Passing with seven points is to be avoided if at all possible.
Declarer has five top tricks: one spade (given the lead), three hearts and one diamond. However, the clubs will provide four more winners. The risk is that the defenders might get one club and four spades.
Suppose South calls for dummy's six or 10. East covers cheaply. Here, if East takes the trick, declarer is all right; but that play would not work if East had the club ace. And if South wins this trick, West gets in with the club ace and leads his second spade, giving the defense one club and four spades.
Now let declarer choose dummy's queen. What happens?
East must win with his ace, but cannot continue spades without conceding a second trick in the suit. Suppose East shifts to the diamond king. Declarer wins with dummy's ace and drives out the club ace, cruising home safely.
COPYRIGHT: 2012, UNITED FEATURE SYNDICATE
SPADES Q 10 6
HEARTS A K J
DIAMONDS A 10 9 4
CLUBS K J 8
SPADES 7 3SPADES A J 9 8 4
HEARTS 8 6 4 3 2HEARTS 7 5
DIAMONDS 7 6 3 2DIAMONDS K Q J
CLUBS A 6CLUBS 5 3 2
SPADES K 5 2
HEARTS Q 10 9
DIAMONDS 8 5
CLUBS Q 10 9 7 4
1 DIAMONDS1 SPADES
1 NTPass3 NTAll pass
Opening lead: SPADES 7