Friday, April 16, 2021

Late courage

Goren On Bridge



Today’s deal is from the Canadian National Team Championship some years ago. South was Nicolas L’Ecuyer, a leading Canadian player who has also enjoyed great success in American tournaments. L’Ecuyer didn’t waste time looking to penalize East’s lightweight overcall. He quite sensibly just bid what he thought he could make. Had he tried for penalties, East-West would have wriggled out to a more playable contract.

East-West were playing “attitude” leads, where the lower the card you lead, the greater your interest. East won trick one with the ace of spades and returned the seven, won by South with the king. There were eight top tricks and nine if the clubs split 3-2. The heart spots were not quite good enough to pick up five heart tricks.

L’Ecuyer cashed four heart tricks and saw West discard three diamonds, the eight, nine, and 10, plus a spade. It seemed clear to South that West had started with four clubs. Had he been able to make this determination after only two rounds of hearts, he could have cashed the king of clubs to see if East contributed the singleton jack or 10, but he couldn’t do this after four rounds of hearts. West would just split his club honors on the second round of the suit and there would be no entry back to hand to take another club finesse.

Backing his card reading with his play, L’Ecuyer lead a low club and inserted dum- my’s nine when West played low. Success! A terrific play that gave his team a nice gain en route to victory in the event.

(Bob Jones welcomes readers’ responses sent in care of this newspaper or to Tribune Content Agency, LLC., 16650 Westgrove Dr., Suite 175, Addison, TX 75001. E-mail responses may be sent to


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