“You can easily see,” writes Alma Jones, of Iron Mountain, Mich., “looking at mine and my partner’s hands that a three notrump contract would have been better and easier to make but difficult to bid.
“If West had led a spade, there is no way I could have made this contract. West led the king of hearts. Or, if I had relied on West holding the ace of spades for his overcall, I could have lost three tricks in that suit.”
Jones was not the sort of player who relied on a 50% proposition when she could find a sure-trick line of play. She won the ace of hearts and cashed the king and queen of trump and ruffed a heart. She played her three high diamonds and sluffed a spade from her hand. When West discarded a heart on the third diamond, her contract was made.
Jones continued with a fourth diamond and pitched another spade loser from her hand. East won the trick but was not happy with being on lead. If East led a red suit, Jones would discard a third spade from her hand and ruff the trick in the dummy. If East led a spade, the defenders would only take one spade trick.
With the help of the loser-on-loser play, Jones made her contract of five clubs; her only losers were a diamond and a spade.
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.”
Click here to view this week's Deal Us In.