When I watched today’s deal at my club, North-South were a dentist and a manicurist known to all as “Tooth and Nail” because that’s how they argue. How their partnership survives is a mystery.
Against Nail’s four spades, West led the jack of clubs, and East took the A-Q and shifted to a trump. Nail drew trumps with the A-K and next led her jack of hearts. When West had to play low, declarer pondered … and let the jack ride.
East took the queen and returned a heart, and Nail ruffed. She led a diamond to dummy’s king and back to her jack, but West produced the queen for down one.
Then came the inevitable argument — which was even more acerbic than usual.
Tooth: “Your play was hopeless. If you want to avoid a heart loser, play dummy’s king. If East has the ace, you still succeed if he has the queen of diamonds.”
Nail: “My play wasn’t hopeless. West might have had Q-x-x in hearts, and then I can get two diamond discards on the hearts.”
Tooth: “Even if your jack of hearts drives out the ace from East, you’ll probably need the diamond finesse to win.”
Nail: “Not necessarily. I might squeeze West in hearts and diamonds.”
Tooth: “Baloney. Would you guess to play for the squeeze instead of just finessing in diamonds?”
I think Tooth had the better argument. South should rely on something straightforward — the ace of hearts in the West hand — rather than on an uncertain line of play. Still, Nail’s play might have worked, so Tooth might have been more sympathetic. The main lesson is that it’s better to be supportive of your partner than critical.
S Q 10 5 4
H K 10 9 2
D K 7 4
C K 5
H A 7 5 3
D Q 10 9 2
C J 10 9 6
S 9 3
H Q 8 6 4
D 8 5
C A Q 8 4 2
S A K J 7 6 2
D A J 6 3
C 7 3
South West North East
1 S Pass 3 S Pass
4 S All Pass
Opening lead — C J
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Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment