30 or 40 years ago, Terence Reese wrote a really
good column about a hand in which secondary assumptions
needed to be made. Since he needed some cards to be in
the right spot, he was able to figure out how to guess
another suit; only one guess had any chance.
a rubber bridge game against mixed opposition, I encounter
something similar. LHO deals and opens 1, partner
passes, and RHO bids a forcing notrump. I hold
AQJ1075 75 8 KQ72. That's an obvious 2
butt-in. The opponents do no more bidding, but partner
raises me to three, and I, of course, bid game. The opening
lead is the A (they play ace from ace-king) and I see:
RHO contributes the 2 to this trick and LHO goes into
the tank. They play standard signals, so hearts are obviously
6-1. After about three minutes, LHO emerges with a low diamond.
I was pretty sure he was going to do that; I've been thinking
about the diamond suit for awhile. My table feel tells me that
LHO has the ace. He's hoping to take two diamonds and two hearts;
he wouldn't strand his A unless he had a sure entry. But
playing the K is the wrong play. In a sense, I can play
the J and claim! If it loses to the Q and LHO has
the A, then RHO has to have the trump king. LHO would never
underlead an ace if he had three cashing tops and the trump king.
Nor would that leave much for RHO to respond. The former inference
is much better, so much so that despite my overwhelming feeling
that the A is on my left, I play the J anyway.
RHO wins with the Q and plays a low diamond. Why not...
I ditch a heart and LHO wins. He goes into another tank. I
claim on the marked spade finesse.
I don't think I've ever seen this sort of inference, where one
can guess a suit based on the opponents' actions relating to
another suit. Probably they have been there, but I've missed
them. I know this one made my head hurt.
Copyright © 2003 Jeff Goldsmith