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Longboat Key Wednesday, Sep. 14, 2011 6 years ago

Deal Us In: Loser-on-loser play makes winning easy

by: Donna Swan

“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.”

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