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In example (iii), declarer cashes the ace and that West did not begin with ♦A-10-9, South is in 5♣ after East-West have bid and

and East drops the jack or ten. Restricted when there is no winning play, declarer raised spades.

Choice would apply up to a point, but this must play for West to have begun with West leads the ace followed by the queen

is not a time to apply it as East can also either ♦10-9 or ♦A-9. If he held ♦10-9, of spades, South ruffing. He cashes the ace

play an honour from J-10-x, greatly altering he might have followed with either card of clubs and East follows with the jack.

the odds. Correct play is to continue with on the first round, as they are equals. The When declarer plays a second club towards

a second top card. fact that he played the nine suggests that the dummy, West follows with the nine.

he is less likely to also hold the ten; in Should declarer finesse the ten or play for

The Principle applies other words, he is more likely to have made the drop?

to small cards as well a forced play than a chosen one, and he A little learning is a dangerous thing. A

should be played for the ♦A-9. player who understands the Principle of

Restricted Choice does not only apply to Turning our attention to East, we are Restricted Choice will know that the odds

honour cards, but also to small cards – so playing him to have begun with either are almost two-to-one in favour of the

long as they are genuinely equal in terms of ♦A-K-3 or ♦K-10-3. Holding the latter, he finesse, and if he was playing 6♣ that

their value. In other words, a defender can would have been forced to win the king on would be good enough cause to make the

afford to play them in any order without the first round, whereas with the former he finesse the correct play. But the contract is

risk of his choice costing him a trick. could have won with either the ace or king. 5♣. At the moment when West followed

Once again, declarer should assume the to the second club, the contract became

forced play rather than the chosen one, in 100% secure, but only if declarer remem-

(iv) ♥ A Q 9 8 other words, that East is more likely to have bered to play bridge rather than merely




begun with ♦K-10-3. Restricted Choice has remember and apply rules.


been applied to both defenders and the Say that declarer finesses the ♣10 and it

♥J 7 6 5 result in both cases points in the same holds the trick. His contract is safe and he

direction, namely that declarer should play later takes the heart finesse for the over-

a low card on the second round of the suit. trick. If, however, the ♣10 loses to the

Correct play to hold declarer’s losers to a queen, that heart finesse is for the contract

maximum of one is to lead a low card to A little learning . . . and declarer risks going down.

the queen on the first round. This will Now suppose that declarer plays the

always succeed unless the queen loses to king of clubs and the queen falls. Again,

the bare king, and no other play is as good. ♠ 87 the heart finesse is for the overtrick. And if

Say that the queen does lose to the king, ♥ 10 2 the queen of clubs does not fall? Declarer

should declarer cash the jack or the ace at ♦ K J 10 8 3 just plays off his diamond winners and,

his next turn (we assume no external clues ♣ K 10 6 5 eventually, West has to win a trick with the

about where the length might be)? ♠ AQJ2 ♠ K 10 9 6 5 4 club queen.


There is no other touching card equiva- ♥ K84 W E

♥ 976 At this point West is endplayed, forced

lent to the king, and neither defender ♦ 9754 S ♦ 62 to either give a ruff-and-discard or lead a

could afford to waste the ten. However, the ♣ 92 ♣ QJ heart, either of which will mean no heart

four, three and two are equal cards. ♠ 3 loser for declarer. Even when declarer

Restricted Choice says that West could have ♥ AQJ53 ‘misguesses’ the clubs, he makes his

played any one of these on the first round ♦ AQ contract, but only if the misguess leaves

had he begun with 10-4-3-2. He should be ♣ A8743 West winning a club trick, not if East gets

assumed to have played the card he was the trick.

forced to play, rather than to have made a

choice between equals. Therefore, West is

the more likely defender to have a single-

ton heart and declarer should cash the ace LOUIS TARLO

next in case East began with K-10-x-x. LOUIS Tarlo, who has died aged 96, represented Great Britain in the

first World Championship for the Bermuda Bowl in 1950.

Louis Tarlo represented Britain in eight European Championships

(v) ♦ Q J 8 7 6 5 4 collecting two bronze medals. He first represented England in the


Home Internationals for the Camrose Trophy in two matches before


S the Second World War. Of twenty-two England caps the last came in 1975, some thirty-

♦2 six years later, partnering Chris Dixon.

Tarlo won the Gold Cup, the British knock-out championship, on five occasions

starting in 1939 and finishing in 1974 when he was aged 62. In 1961 he suffered the

annoyance of losing to his brother in the final.

Declarer leads the singleton two and West Over two decades Tarlo was non-playing captain of British teams that collected one

follows with the nine, the jack losing to the silver and two bronzes in World Championships. In this role in the Europeans he

king. Should declarer’s next play be his collected two golds and three silvers.

remaining honour, hoping to pin a bare Tarlo was a Chairman of the English Bridge Union and later a Vice President. He also

ten, or should it be a low card, hoping to won the Gold Award. He was a solicitor, married to Bea, who predeceased him.

drop a bare ace? Patrick Jourdain

Assuming the necessary three-two break June 2008 English Bridge 39


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