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Bridge – with Paul Mendelson

Paul Mendelson

2 July 2021


Paul Mendelson heads up our Saga Bridge Club team and is the author of over a dozen books on bridge. He has coached at all levels, from complete beginners to national team players, and has helped tens of thousands of players to improve their bridge, and most importantly, to enjoy this amazing game even more.

Do you trust your bridge partner?

The Saga Online Bridge Club features an opportunity to play with your own partner, or to be matched up with someone of a similar standard. New partners should be cherished and treated with great respect. Even if they do something very strange, trust them – they might just be right…

North-South bid confidently to their 4S game contract, and West led top-of-a-sequence K♥︎.

East can deduce that West holds ♥︎KQ and probably J♥︎. These cards, together with East’s two aces, seem to account for all the high cards which East-West could hold.

East must plan to make four tricks to defeat the contract, but what can they be?

Two hearts tricks and A♦︎ are easy to make but, for a fourth trick, East will need to trump a diamond. How can that be achieved before declarer draws trumps?

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The solution is entirely in East’s hands and is really rather beautiful: East overtakes West’s K♥︎ with her A♥︎ and cashes A♦︎. She then returns a heart to West.

On winning, West must ask herself why East would make such a bizarre play as cashing A♦︎.

By doing this, East is setting up all the diamonds in dummy, on which the declarer can throw away all the losers in other suits from her hand.

This is either the action of a madman, or – and here is where you must trust your partner – of a player with only one diamond. Assuming that he trusts his partner, West therefore plays another diamond, and East trumps. Playing an ace on your partner’s king may cause acute embarrassment but, on occasion, it may just lead you to be hailed as a hero…

Bridge game diagram

Bridge game diagram


Article first published in Saga Magazine June 2021.

Image © Shutterstock

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated. The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.

Paul Mendelson

2 July 2021


Paul Mendelson heads up our Saga Bridge Club team and is the author of over a dozen books on bridge. He has coached at all levels, from complete beginners to national team players, and has helped tens of thousands of players to improve their bridge, and most importantly, to enjoy this amazing game even more.

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