“There comes a time in every bridge player’s life when he has to unguard a king,” wrote Bob Jones, of Tampa, who sent in this hand. “That way, you might be able to conceal your distribution from the opponents.”
From the moment North-South bid game, Jones realized that, because of his light, opening bid, he would be marked with every outstanding high card. With North’s re-opening double and raise to game with only 14 points in the balancing position, his double might have been made with only 11 points.
West led his top spade, and Jones overtook, in case his partner was leading a singleton. Declarer won and drove out the ace of clubs. Jones persisted with spades to set up his suit.
Declarer then ran his clubs, and on the fourth round of the suit, Jones calmly blanked his king of diamonds.
Declarer continued with the king and ace of hearts. Jones continued to befuddle declarer, following suit first with the eight and, then, the queen.
It seemed to declarer that Jones had started with five spades, two hearts, three clubs and, therefore, three diamonds, and that he was down to three spades and the guarded king of diamonds. Declarer confidently threw Jones in with a spade. He expected that Jones would be able to cash three spade tricks but that he would have to lead a diamond away from his king and declarer’s combined ace, queen and 10.
He was partly right. Jones did cash three spade tricks, but, then, he exited with his three of hearts to his partner’s Jack to set the contract at one trick.
Donna Swan is a resident of Longboat Key, an ardent bridge player and an American Contract Bridge League certified director who plays “for the fun of it.”
WHERE TO PLAY
Bayfront Park Recreation Center
Duplicate bridge games are at 1 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays. Contact Larry Auerbach at 758-2017 to reserve your spot.