June 21, 2024
When I kibitz at my club, I hear players offer post-deal analyses that are sound — and not much else. The play of many deals can be complex, and attempting an analysis right at the table is a treacherous business. In today’s deal, East’s jump-raise to three hearts was preemptive. He failed to shut out

When I kibitz at my club, I hear players offer post-deal analyses that are sound — and not much else. The play of many deals can be complex, and attempting an analysis right at the table is a treacherous business.

In today’s deal, East’s jump-raise to three hearts was preemptive. He failed to shut out South, who came in with three spades and was raised to four. West led the K-A of hearts and shifted to the king of clubs.

South took the ace, pondered and led the A-K of diamonds. East ruffed and returned a club, and South ruffed. He ruffed a diamond with dummy’s jack of trumps, led a trump to his hand and ruffed a diamond with the ten. He drew trumps and won the last two tricks with good diamonds.

North wasn’t satisfied to be plus 620 points.

“You have a phobia about drawing trumps?” he asked South. “Why let them ruff one of your winners?”

Meanwhile, East asserted that West might have done well to give declarer a ruff-sluff at Trick Three.

Well, North’s analysis was more sound than substance. If South draws even one round of trumps, he fails against best defense. He can neither set up and cash his long diamonds while keeping trump control nor crossruff successfully.

South was right to go after his side suit early — often good technique when control may be an issue. Moreover, if South plays carefully, West can’t beat four spades by leading a third heart.

Off-the-cuff analysis is often spurred by ego. I suggest you save postmortems for a dispassionate setting after the game.

South dealer

N-S vulnerable

NORTH

S J 10 6 5

H 10 4

D 6 5

C A 10 9 7 4

WEST

S 3

H A K 9 8 3

D Q 10 8 2

C K Q 2

EAST

S 8 7 4 2

H Q 7 5 2

D 4

C J 8 6 3

SOUTH

S A K Q 9

H J 6

D A K J 9 7 3

C 5

South West North East
1 D 1 H Pass 3 H
3 S Pass 4 S All Pass
Opening lead — H K

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