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Nancy Evins: A little shepherd boy cried wolf one too many times

Nancy Evins • Updated Dec 31, 2017 at 10:00 AM

If you recall the story where the young shepherd boy was so lonely with nothing but sheep for company. His first two cries were hopes that some of the villagers would run to chase the wolf and give him some people to talk to. 

The third time, those people had caught on, but there really was a wolf, and that was the end of the poor lad.

This old lady may have cried Wolff, Wolff, Bobby Wolff once too often, but here goes anyway.

I know the man knows more about bridge than I ever will, but, honestly, this is one of his daily newspaper hands telling how you should discard with a Q doubleton when your partner leads the Ace of his suit or in Wolff’s style, the King from Ace/King.

Here’s the hand he uses to describe this.

He starts off with the same points that I have tried to make.

“Today’s deal features two elements of defense that everyone should focus on. One involves the proper use of honors; the other of the proper use of small cards.”

He goes on to tell what the contract is and what was led. North and South are playing four hearts, and West has led the king of diamonds. 

“On this trick, East must follow with the queen, promising a singleton or possession of the jack. With queen-doubleton, you want partner to cash a second diamond; you can drop the queen from queen-doubleton if dummy holds the jack.”

What?

This is where the Wolff and I lose our paths in the woods.

How do I know the difference in whether it is a come on signal or a true singleton? I might want to lead a small diamond for partner to trump. It would give me a control to keep declarer from setting up the jack.

In fact, I did that once and was horrified when my partner played the small card, allowing declarer to win the trick with only a slightly higher card.

So I, Little Red Riding Hood, would like the big bad Wolff to offer some explanation.

“My, my” he will say. “What big ears you have, granny.”

Maybe one of you villagers can tell me the answer.

Nancy Evins, of Lebanon, is a certified bridge instructor. Email her at na_evins@att.net.

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