May 21, 2023 – The Mercury News

Some of us were in the club lounge discussing the role of memory at bridge: short-term memory to recall the cards that are played; long-term memory for the experience on which to base judgment.

“I don’t see how some players remember every deal after a session,” a newer players remarked.

“They’re like a major-league pitcher,” Cy the Cynic offered, “who can remember every pitch he threw after a game. It’s just what he does.”

“Maybe you can remember the deals,” a senior member sighed. “At my age, memory is what reminds me of something I’ve forgotten

that I was supposed to remember.”

When you have a problem in declarer play, just remembering what has happened in the bidding (and the play so far) may not be enough; helpful information may be available, but declarer must interpret the evidence.

In today’s deal, North opened one heart, after which there was no stopping South short of 6NT. West led the deuce of spades, and declarer won and led his nine of hearts: seven, king, four. South then had 11 tricks. He tried the diamond finesse next, but West won and cashed his ace of hearts.

Expert declarers often rely on subtle inferences. Here, West would be expected to lead a spade or a diamond. He would be reluctant to lead from a king against a contract of 6NT. West’s spade lead suggested that he had the king of diamonds; if not, he might have led a diamond.

If South is willing to act on that inference, he will lead the nine of hearts at Trick Two and play the ten from dummy.

North dealer

N-S vulnerable


S J 8

H K Q 10 6 4 3

D Q J 4

C A 8


S 10 7 4 2

H A J 7

D K 8 6 2

C 10 6


S 9 6 5 3

H 8 5 2

D 9 7 3

C 9 5 4



H 9

D A 10 5

C K Q J 7 3 2

North East South West
1 H Pass 2 C Pass
2 H Pass 4 NT Pass
5 D Pass 6 NT All Pass
Opening lead — S 2

©2023 Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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