2017-03-16 / Arts & Entertainment News

Points, shmoints

CONTRACT BRIDGE
BY STEVE BECKER

The number of tricks a side can make often is determined by distributional factors rather than high-card points, as witness this deal from a match between Ireland and Italy.

The Irish declarer, Peter Pigot, got to four hearts doubled as shown after East, Benito Garozzo, opened with one club, showing 16 or more points.

West led a spade, ruffed by Pigot, who returned the king of diamonds and discarded a spade from dummy. East took the ace and played another spade, ruffed again by declarer.

Pigot now cashed the queen of diamonds, discarding dummy’s last spade, and made the key play of a low trump from his A-10-9, won by East with the queen. Garozzo could do no better than return a trump, won by South with the ace.

After ruffing a diamond with dummy’s last trump, Pigot took a club finesse, which won, and led the J-10 of diamonds. West ruffed with his high trump and played still another spade, but Pigot ruffed and scored the last two tricks with the A-J of clubs to make four hearts doubled.

Thus it was that South, with 17 points, scored 10 tricks, while East-West, with 23 points, scored only three.

The outcome emphasizes that what counts in bridge is the number of tricks you can take and not the number of points you have. Point-count enthusiasts eventually learn from bitter experience that while high-card points are a valuable measuring rod, they are by no means an accurate barometer of how many tricks actually can be made. ¦

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