Judy Kay-Wolff


The Alder Column appears in our local paper and today it contained a captivating quote, "It is better to get up late and be wide awake than to get up early and be asleep all day."   It’s a great line — and how true!     

South is declarer:

Dummy holds  AQJ5     54      AQ1072    AQ                                                                                

   opposite      762      A108     KJ9         10764                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

The contract is 3NT with South as Declarer (though some aggressive North players with 19 HCP and a decent five card suit might have stretched and opened 2NT).  In the actual hand, the lead was the C3 and I was appalled to read on,  "You are East, defending against three no trump.   Partner leads a fourth-highest club three. After you take your king …"   WHOA, TILLIE.   BACK UP.    Who invited East to the party?????   I would have risen with the club ace sure as shootin, gotten to my hand with a diamond and hooked the spade.  What can they do to hurt you?   If the clubs are 5/2, your club 10 is not in harm’s way.  And — should they be 4/3, the best they can do is take three clubs and a spade.  If you finesse the club queen and lose, expect the obvious heart shift and if the spade finesse loses too, you are down.  

It was hard to believe the writer zeroed in on the defense — rather than recommending the declarer abandon a possible losing club finesse and being subjected to a dangerous and reasonably automatic heart shift which could sink the ship if the spade king is off side.  Another consideration — had you aggressively opened 2NT, you may have received a less favorable opening lead of a heart.   So, you may be one trick ahead of the North declarers and I would have been grateful to see the club three hit the table and not been greedy with the club finesse, settling to make my contract.

I just couldn’t imagine why the writer was dwelling on East’s options after winning the club king.   However, I think I answered my own question when I spotted at the bottom of the column …  "If something else has occurred to you about this deal, please read tomorrow’s column before emailing."   If I were a betting gal, I would put my money on Alder’s attention to the declarer’s choice (or lack of it) at trick one.   Time will tell. 

1 Comment

RuthieFebruary 11th, 2009 at 2:46 pm

It’s an interesting presentation — from the standpoint of both defense and declaring a hand.

The C10 is an eye opener — and certainly the winning action is more obvious at Imps — than being greedy for an overtrick at matchpoints.