Vol. VIII No. 35 - Tuesday
September 1 - September 7, 2009



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by Saichon Paewsoongnern


Columns
HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

The Doctor's Consultation

Alliance Francaise de Chiang Mai

Agony Column

Camera Class by Snapshot

Money Matters

Life in Chiang Mai

Let's Go To The Movies

Bridge in Paradise

The Doctor's Consultation:  by Dr. Iain Corness

Can Cholesterol cause heart disease?

Can Cholesterol (I give it a capital letter because it is important) cause heart disease? Simple answer - by blocking up the coronary arteries Cholesterol then becomes a pre-cursor of heart disease. Cholesterol causes plaques to form on the inside of the arteries which slows and eventually stops the flow of oxygenated blood to the heart muscle. However, sometimes I find it amazing that there are still folk out there who are not convinced that diet and Cholesterol are the key factors in heart disease. However, I should not be too hard on these people, after all, it took the medical world 81 years to accept that fact.
The whole Cholesterol story began in 1913 with a Russian pathologist called Anitschkow and his pet rabbits. (No, I am not making this up! He started with two rabbits and suddenly he had a whole warren full!) Way back in the days of button-up boots and before the advent of ball point pens and cling wrap, Anitschkow demonstrated that raised Cholesterol levels produced hardening of the arteries supplying the heart muscle (the coronary arteries). That really was 1913 and Anitschkow’s work was done on his bunny rabbits, but medical science was not convinced that what happened to Bugs Bunny would actually happen to us. After all, we are not really large rabbits!
However, his work was not in vain, because 47 years later a huge study was done in America (the Framingham Study by a Dr. Kanel) and the initial results were published in 1960. This appeared to show that Cholesterol and heart disease were intimately connected. But the medical world is notoriously slow to react to change, I’m afraid, and Kanel’s words fell onto some stony ground. But there were a few believers. (I actually met Dr. Kanel in the early 1970’s and I am glad to say he convinced me.)
The believers continued the research and it was in 1994 that the Scandinavian 4S study finally and irrefutably proved the concept and the need to lower Cholesterol, to in turn reduce heart disease, became universally accepted. That’s 81 years after Anitschkow pointed the scientific finger at Cholesterol.
Since the 4S study, the world has been looking at different ways of reducing Cholesterol, from diet all the way through to some special drugs called ‘statins’. Now considering that all drugs have a certain ‘risk’ attached to them, for my simple mind, we should at least start with dietary measures. Non-dangerous stuff! I have given you the 10 Dietary Commandments before (from Australian Cardiologist, David Colquhoun). Cut out this article and laminate and stick on the refrigerator!
1. Eat bread every day, preferably multigrain.
2. Eat some fruit every day.
3. Never eat Cream or Butter again.
4. Eat more fish and eat less meat.
5. Use olive oil every day.
6. Eat some vegetables every day.
7. Eat a handful of nuts every day.
8. Use more fresh herbs and garlic.
9. Have a glass of wine with food every day.
10. Eat in a relaxed way and enjoy your food.
Now all that looks fairly easy and the glass of wine with it all suits me down to the ground, I must say. However, note that that was a glass of wine, not a bottle of wine! It is also a diet that is very easy to follow in Chiang Mai, where fish and fruit abound. Just look at Thai food and how it fits in - herbs, garlic, vegetables, little meat, more fish, no dairy products, substitute rice grains for multigrain bread and you have a wonderful recipe for a healthy Cholesterol reducing diet.
So what is your Cholesterol level? Do you have to do something about it? Until you know your level, you won’t know what your relative risk of Coronary Artery Disease really is. Have it checked! It is a very simple test and the result comes back to you under an hour. Comparative testing against previous years is also good as it shows the trend and if it is progressively going upwards you can correct the situation well in advance of the danger levels. Makes good sense.

 

Alliance Francaise de Chiang Mai

September 2009 Film Programme

Friday, September 4, 8 p.m
LES QUATRE CENTS COUPS (1959)
by François Truffaut with Jean-Pierre Léaud • Claire Maurier • B&W • 95mn • Eng. subtitles
Antoine Doinel is 14 years old. His parents do not show much interest in him. He skips school to go to the movies and play with his friends. He discovers his mother has a lover. Antoine steals a typewriter, which leads to his suspension from school...

Friday, September 11, 8 p.m.
JULES ET JIM (1962)
by François Truffaut with Jeanne Moreau • Oscar Werner • Henri Serre • Marie Dubois • B&W • 110 mn • Eng. subtitles
Two young men, Jules and Jim, have been the best of friends for many years, and their friendship becomes even closer the day they discover that they love the same woman and that she loves them both. A strange situation indeed, but even stranger is this young woman who, although her behaviour could seem paradoxical to others, keeps a surprising simplicity and purity in her relationship with her two lovers.

Friday, September 18, 8 p.m.
LA PEAU DOUCE (1964)
by François Truffaut with Françoise Dorléac • Jean Desailly
Nelly Bénédetti • 165 mn • B&W • Eng. subtitles
Pierre Lachenay is a well-known publisher and lecturer, married to Franca and father of 10 year old Sabine. He meets an air hostess, Nicole. They start a love affair, which Pierre is hiding, but he cannot stand staying away from her…

Friday, September 25, 8 p.m.
BAISERS VOLÉS (1968)
by François Truffaut with Jean-Pierre Léaud • Claude Jade • Delphine Seyrig • Daniel Ceccaldi • Michel Lonsdale • Claire Duhamel • 87mn • Eng. subtitles
Antoine Doinel is 24 year old. Behind bars in a military brig, he awaits his discharge from the army. Finally free, he goes to the house of the parents of Christine Darbon, the girl he was in love with before being drafted. Alternately night watchman, private investigator and shoe shop employee, Antoine is professionally and emotionally unstable...


Heart to Heart  with Hillary

Dear Hillary,
I am sure you get asked this all the time, but are all the women in Thailand just on the make? Every one I have met and end up in a relationship with seems to have her hand into your wallet within days of arriving at the condo with a suitcase full of clothes. Or I should say an empty suitcase for me to fill with clothes. At first all that was asked was money to buy groceries, and I thought that was great, looking after me. But then the grocery bill seemed to be going up all the time and the amount of food was going smaller. Then it was some to send to Mama, school fees (in a village school?) for her children being looked after by Mama, it just went on and on. I got sick of the hand out for money all the time. That ended that one. Then the next one was the same, and the one after that. Is there one honest woman in Thailand?
Tired of being an ATM
Dear ATM with exhaustion,
Is there one honest woman in Thailand? Of course there is. Yes, me. Just send me your bank account details so I can see if you are a genuine match (oops, almost wrote ‘catch’ there) and really deserve me. Petal, have you ever wondered why the women you have formed a relationship with do this so easily? You are obviously looking for your paragon of virtue in an area selling commercial friendships. Quite frankly, you will not get a non-bar girl to just move in like that. However, when you select a lady who will move in tomorrow, then she will move out the day after that, once your financial support dries up. These are ‘mia chow’ (rented wives), and it is a purely financial relationship, with you spitting out the money, just like the ATM. You’ve seen the T shirt, “No Money - No Honey”, and that’s where you are, Mr ATM. The big honeypot. It is time you began to look elsewhere and form a genuine bond with genuine women, and there are many of them. But you won’t find them in a bar.

Dear Hillary,
I read that the bar girls are worrying about the health of the local buffaloes, because if they are all replaced by tractors then the pleading “buffalo sick, send money” won’t work any more. Is this really true? Are they that devious?
Buffalo Bobby
Dear Buffalo Bobby,
I could have answered your letter with just one word - Yes! However, like all begging attempts, it is up to you what you do. When you go across the pedestrian footbridges in Bangkok, there will be somebody, usually with a rented baby at the breast or an obvious physical deformity, with a begging cup at each stairwell. You can give, or keep your money firmly in your pocket. Likewise the begging letters, which all have a fairly common source, in fact there is a book published for bar girls to learn English, that has a basic pro-forma letter of the type “Dear Blank (fill in name of sucker, sorry, boyfriend), I miss you so much. Unfortunately I have to tell you that I will have to go back to working in the bar because my mother/brother/father/baby/buffalo (delete whichever are inappropriate) is sick. If you could send $$$$$ (fill in the amount wanted) then I could just stay here in our flat and wait for you. Life is not the same without you (or without your wallet). Your loving girlfriend (Sai, Sim, Toy, A, Bee, Dee, Nud, Nid - delete whichever is inappropriate). Yes Buffalo Bob, I think you should keep your money in the bank at Wounded Knee and wait for the Cavalry. The buffalo will look after itself. You don’t need to.
Dear Hillary,
What is the situation with Thai law when you split from a live-in girlfriend? Does she have any legal rights to your property, cars, houses and such. I’ve been with this girl for about a year, but it’s time to change, but she’s already got the hand out and wants the house and the car. Hand them over, or tough it out? What is your advice?
Black Jack
Dear Black Jack,
You are asking the wrong person, Petal. This is Hillary, with heart balm for those injured in love, not a lawyer specializing in marital problems, even though some days it seems like it. However, I would imagine that the crux of the matter hinges on whose name is on the ownership documents. Foreigners cannot own houses in Thailand in their own names, so many just put the house in the girlfriend’s name, which is not such a smart move if there is a break-up. (There are other ways of retaining ownership, such as formation of companies, mortgages, etc., but your friendly real estate agent can explain all those, not me). But remember if the piece of paper says it is hers, she is then legally entitled to it. Same goes with cars and other big ticket items. Since you went into the relationship, apparently knowing there would be a time to move on (“time to change” you wrote), then you should have been clever enough to protect your interests. See a lawyer.


Camera Class:  by Harry Flashman

Slow-w-w shutter speeds

With modern cameras being so sophisticated these days, I cannot blame the weekend photographer for just leaving his camera setting on A for Auto, or P for Program. For the majority of conditions you will get a satisfactory image with the auto setting. But note, I say “satisfactory”, not “great”.
If you will be so bold as to take it off A for Auto and select S for Shutter, you will be expanding the range of shots you can take, and get some very pleasing results. This week I’d like to look at slow shutter speeds.
On almost every camera ever made there is a setting called “15” which stands for 1/15th of a second. This is probably the most underused shutter speed ever, and yet it can help make your photographs very much better.
There seems to be an idea in the photographic world that anything slower than 1/60th of a second cannot be hand-held, and you must use a tripod. This is tripe - unless you have some medical condition resulting in uncontrolled shaking spasms. Of course, this is made even easier with many modern digitals featuring image stabilization in the circuitry.
The reason to use 1/15th is to expand the light range in which you can take shots without flash, such as sunsets for example, or to bring out the background, even when using flash. You know the shots taken at a function where you get someone looking like a startled rabbit in blackness, where if you had used a 1/15th shutter speed you would have got a nice mellow background to soften the picture.
Of course there are a few tricks to hand-holding at the slower shutter speeds. The first is to steady yourself and that can be done easily by leaning against a wall or a pole (preferably not a chrome one attached to a go-go dancer). The second is to hold the camera firmly in both hands, take a breath in and hold it and then gently depress the shutter button. I have even shot at ½ a second by holding the camera firmly pressed down on the back of a chair. Take a few as some will have obvious camera shake, but you will get at least one good one.
With the slower shutter speed, you can decrease the diameter of the aperture (the f stop) which will give you greater depth of field than you would get at 1/60th shutter speed. Remember, as the aperture (the hole the light goes through) becomes smaller, it is denoted by larger f numbers.
If you really want to get technical, for example, f16 means that the aperture diameter is equal to the focal length of the lens divided by sixteen; that is, if the camera has an 80 mm lens, all the light that reaches the sensors passes through a virtual disk known as the ‘entrance pupil’ that is 5 mm (80 mm/16) in diameter. The location of this virtual disk inside the lens depends on the optical design. It may simply be the opening of the aperture stop, or may be a magnified image of the aperture stop, formed by elements within the lens.
The f stop scale is a sliding one, just as the shutter speed is a graduated one, allowing for fractional differences in the light allowed through to the film (or the digital sensors). As you go through the usual f stops of f 8 to f 11 to f 16, you are actually cutting the light down by one half each time. The f stop scale is also an inverse ration, as the bigger the number, the smaller the diameter. There is a good mathematical reason for this, but just believe me.
On modern cameras, especially when aperture is set on the camera body, f-number is often divided more finely than steps of one stop or half a stop. Steps of one-third stop (1/3 EV) are the most common, since this matches the ISO system of 100 ASA, 200 ASA 400 ASA etc. Enough technical details! Time to just believe me again.


Money Matters:  Paul Gambles MBMG International Ltd.

Is there a solution?

An interesting question arose from a discussion I was having last week after the recent employment figures came out. I was asked, “How much of all this money being paid out to save the economy is actually going to companies that employ people and keep men and women off the dole?” I did not know the answer to this and so did some research and, via that wonderful newspaper the Financial Times (FT), found out the horrifying statistic that over seventy percent of what the UK government has given out is to banks so they can spend it on property lending. Now forgive me but wasn’t it property lending that got us into this mess?
It is obvious that the bankers (spelled with a ‘w’?) are just looking after themselves as can be seen by the outrageous bonuses many have just given themselves. Even though they have been given all this money to get the country back on its feet they are not sending the money where it needs to go. Most bankers would not know a real company if it hit them in the face. As was pointed out in the FT, when Japanese bankers were given direct instructions by the central government to lend to Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) they gave these loans to the likes of a subsidiary of Toyota or Mitsubishi. This is not exactly what the Japanese government actually meant.
The world of banking is under the illusion that the worst is over. Some banking stocks have risen dramatically over the last six months. What many people seem to have forgotten is that is very difficult, even for bankers, to lose money when it has basically been given to them for nothing. They are keeping the money given to them to make their own figures look good at the expense of those SMEs, etc., that really do need a cash injection so as to kick-start their own businesses and get cash flow turning again.
Those who have shares in banks are either having a ‘senior’ moment or are blissfully unaware that trading profits are extremely cyclical even when the books have been fudged - and I am being polite here. ‘Cooked’ is another word that springs to mind. Let’s face it, the banks can revalue any property on their books at whatever price they like. This is why Goldman Sachs turned round such fantastic (in the true sense of the word, i.e. unbelievable) figures for the first half of the year. If it was not for this fact then almost all the banks would still be reporting huge losses due to the downward spiraling loan books. Is the worst over for them? Not by a long way. The property market has to recover first and that is not going to happen for a long time.
The Deutsche Bank recently did some research on the American property market and found that it is expected the percentage of house owners who have negative equity will go up to almost fifty percent by 2011. Earlier this year this figure stood at 26%.
The report goes on to say Deutsche Bank will “predict the next phase of the housing decline will have a far greater impact on prime borrowers.” Now this is interesting and worrying at the same time as prime borrowers account for two out of every three loans in the mortgage market. The report forecasts that over forty percent of the loans will be beyond help within the next two years. This figure now stands at fourteen percent. The vital fact here is that they also believe there will be another drop in American real estate prices by as much as almost 15%.
Julian Robertson in a recent interview in Value Investor Insight came out with a very incisive comment when he said, “I ask anyone to give me an example of an economy beefed up by huge amounts of quantitative easing that did not inflate tremendously when or if the economy improved. I think what we’re doing now will either fail, or it will result in unbelievably high inflation - and tragically, maybe both. That would mean a depression and explosive inflation, which is frightening.”
So, the banks are throwing money at the property market when it looks to be still going down. Oh joy! Is there any hope? That is the USD64,000 question. Whilst it is comparatively easy to see where the problems lie - well it is if you are not a banker - and suggesting solutions is not exactly difficult, it is a completely different ball game when it comes to putting these ‘cures’ into place.
Unfortunately, too many times, governments turn to think-tanks who have never seen the light of day or reality when it comes to common sense, practical business. These people have never been at the coal face when it comes to running a company. The pompous, grandiose statements of these theoreticians and politicians do not exactly reflect what is going on in the real world. With one or two honourable exceptions, most of these people have gone straight from school and university to lecturing in tertiary education or parliament. They have never had to deal with the hard reality of life itself.
The hard facts are that the markets are not going to look this healthy for a long time. We need to invest in companies that produce something - apart from cooked books. The basics are that the Dow Jones, the S&P, the FTSE, etc., are not the economy, although some in the financial sector may disagree with this comment. However, they do reflect how people feel. As markets go up then people’s humour does as well. When they go down then so does the humour.
The theoreticians, politicians and finance people would have us believe their solutions have saved the day. This is no more than egotistical, self-serving BS. The world is still in an economic crisis. Just because the world’s stock markets have shot up a bit does not mean we are in the midst of a recovery.
If we have to use theories then this is no more than a Fibonacci retracement where things look to be getting better before diving back to a lower position than they were before. Using this model, there is a good argument to be had for showing the Dow Jones could go as low as 5,000 before bottoming out completely.
The words of Julian Robertson are frightening in the fact that they are probably right. Unless we get someone in power that actually knows what they are doing then we are all going to suffer. And that is the only solution.

The above data and research was compiled from sources believed to be reliable. However, neither MBMG International Ltd nor its officers can accept any liability for any errors or omissions in the above article nor bear any responsibility for any losses achieved as a result of any actions taken or not taken as a consequence of reading the above article. For more information please contact Paul Gambles on [email protected]


Life in Chiang Mai: by Mark Whitman

PASSPORT, PLEASE……

With friends like John Yettaw, who needs enemies?

A friend came to visit me from Kerala a few weeks ago and arrived at Chiang Mai airport minus his luggage. It transpired that not only had he not identified the case nor put a final destination on it, he had also packed vital documents relating to a visa application and other matters together with essential medication. He had not even put a day or two’s emergency supply in his carry- on case in the event of a delay.
The end was result was a lengthy trip to the Chiang Mai Ram in an attempt to get duplicate medicines. They were very helpful and, light of some 5000 baht for a few day’s supply, he also learned a valuable lesson. A day later, Thai Air delivered his luggage safe and sound.
I was reminded of this piece of carelessness and the annoyance caused when I read, a couple of weeks ago in this paper, about the couple who had items stolen from their bag left unattended next to a hotel swimming pool. Among items lost were money, a mobile phone and – almost unbelievably – a passport.
Initially I was sorry for them and certainly hope the main items will be recovered, (kiss goodbye to the cash, of course). A couple of minutes later I became less sympathetic, wondering what on earth possesses someone to leave precious and very portable items in a public place. It is true that Thai law requires us to carry a passport but I have never met a farang who does so. At a special event last year to hear from the immigration department over a hundred people were there. Not one, it seemed, had their passport with them. Carrying a photocopy of a couple of the main pages will avoid problems, together with a driving license or other I.D. (even a copy of those if you are – say – on a beach) will certainly be enough. Thailand is both safer and has less incidences of petty theft than many, possibly most, countries. In thirty years of coming here and five years residency I have never had anything stolen. But then I don’t take my passport out of the safe unless I need to and I don’t leave a bag containing a wallet hanging over the back of a deck chair.
What Price Conspiracy?
So all’s well with the world. The American guy is back home in Missouri, honing up his swimming skills no doubt, so there is no need to worry. His country loves these flights to freedom, even if they don’t know where the flight is from or why. He’s one of ours! Well, forgive me being cynical but, as a well known character in a British TV. series used to say, ‘I don’t believe it’.
What do we really think went on in Burma all those months ago? Allegedly this man, inspired by his faith and on a mission to save the life of Aung San Suu Kyi, entered the country and travelled around unseen. Overweight, unwell and in his fifties he plunges unaided into a lake and swims, unseen, to the heavily guarded home of Suu Kyi on a mission of mercy. One day, and I hope I am around to read about it, the true story will emerge: all of the facts surrounding this bizarre event, which caused nothing but harm.
Now that he is back where he belongs he says he would do it again. Luckily he won’t get the chance, but the harm has been done and his heroine is once more under lock and guard. Naturally the U.S. Senator, Jim Webb, is being hailed as something of a saviour. He did get to meet the head honcho out there and even managed to meet Suu Kyi in a staged situation. Lots of lovely photos for the state-controlled press out there showing that America is ‘talking to the regime’. What, I wonder, was promised to the generals in return for the release from a seven year sentence of Yettaw? I am sure that the junta was pleased to get rid of him, since, if he was really as sick as indicated, he might have died in custody and that would not have pleased them. They don’t have to explain the other deaths in custody, the political prisoners who die of neglect and brutal treatment. They are Burmese, not ‘one of ours’.


Let's Go To The Movies:  by Mark Gernpy

Now playing in Chiang Mai
Inglourious Basterds
: US/ Germany, Action/ War – Quentin Tarantino’s exceptionally bloody tale of Jewish-American troops on the hunt for Nazi scalps in World War II France, starring Brad Pitt and an amazing Christoph Waltz in a truly fine performance. A must-see movie, though I’m uncomfortable with the fact that I’m recommending a film that carries violence to such extremes. But it’s just that I find the filmmaking skill so mind-blowing. Never have I felt such a deliciously slow and inexorable building of tension in scene after scene, and such studied control over all the aspects of movie making. Will forever change how war movies are filmed, and a milestone in film.
Rated R in the US for strong graphic violence, language, and brief sexuality. In Thailand rated “18+” under the new ratings system. “18+” is an advisory rating that suggests viewers should be 18 or older to see the movie. Generally favorable reviews.    
Orphan: US
/ Canada/ Germany, Horror/ Mystery/ Thriller – This is a dandy little horror film which I thoroughly enjoyed! A husband and wife who recently lost their baby adopt a 9-year-old girl who is not nearly as innocent as she claims to be. Rated R in the US for disturbing violent content, some sexuality, and language. In Thailand rated “18+” under the new ratings system. “18+” is an advisory rating that suggests viewers should be 18 or older to see the movie. But despite the rating, watch out for the two glaringly obvious censorship cuts in this film as shown here in Chiang Mai, clear for all to see – one having to do with sex, one having to do with violence. They are just crude chops in the film, no question of pixilation or the like. You can’t miss them.
So it seems clear where we’re headed: a ratings system, plus censorship!
Mixed or average reviews. If you enjoy a good spooky horror film now and then, I recommend this one. It’s quite well done. Airport Plaza only.
G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra:
US, Action/ Adventure/ Sci-Fi/ Thriller – Some showings are testing out the new digital system at Major Cineplex. Another action-adventure film based on toys, very much like Transformers: Nonsensical mayhem, and very loud, but stylish. Generally negative reviews, but very popular.
My Ex / Fan Kao: Thai Horror/ Romance – Ken is a heartthrob actor with a bad boy reputation of loving beautiful girls and then dumping them. After his marriage, one of his ex-girlfriends comes back from the grave to exact revenge.
Buppha Rahtree 3.2:
Rahtree’s Revenge: Thai, Horror/ Romance – An exceptionally bloody and confusing horror flick, and one of those where most of the work of scaring the audience is done by the soundtrack’s spooky music and sound effects. Continues the romantic-horror story of the revengeful ghost of Buppha and her love struck cartoonist, played by Mario Maurer of Love of Siam fame. Rated “18+” in Thailand under the new ratings system.
Trail of the Panda: China, Family – A Disney live action film directed by Chinese director Yu Zhong about a panda cub that is separated from its mother and subsequently rescued by an orphaned boy after going through a series of hardships and dangers in the forest.
The story is sweet and the film is charming with several things to recommend it – the very winning 11-year-old boy who stars, the loving shots of the countryside, the animal photography. A good film for families with kids. Airport Plaza only.
Jija - Raging Phoenix:
Thai, Action/ Romance – A rather odd mix of a film and a real confusion, but it should please martial arts fans. Watch it only when you’re really in the mood for seeing startling martial arts images in a disconnected pattern. Starring the amazing girl from the film Chocolate, Jija Yanin, a true female action icon, who here combines her fight skills with a love story and break dancing.
Scheduled for September 3           
The Final Destination 4:
US, Horror/ Thriller – Will officially inaugurate the new digital 3D cinema system here at Major Cineplex. After a teen’s premonition of a deadly race-car crash helps saves the lives of his peers, Death sets out to collect those who evaded their end. And, the price of regular seats will be raised from 120 baht to 200 baht for the added dimension! But you get your money’s worth with this one: It contains 11 death scenes, the most of any film in the series! Rated R in the US for strong violent/ gruesome accidents, language, and a scene of sexuality.
Bandslam:
US, Comedy/ Music – More wit and bite than one would expect. Probably the only film ever with a character named “Sa5m.” A new kid in town assembles a rock band to compete against the best in the biggest event of the year, a battle of the bands. Generally favorable reviews.


Bridge in Paradise : by Neil Robinson

Defence is the most difficult part of bridge. So here is a puzzle for you on defence. Imagine you are sitting East. South dealt and both sides were vulnerable. This was the bidding:            

South      West           North      East (you)

1S            P                  2H            P

2S            P                  3S             P

4S            All pass      -                - 

Your partner leads the queen of diamonds and you see the hands below. Your partner made a good lead. The queen wins and the jack is led to the second trick. You overtake and win the ace and king, with everyone following. Now comes the key decision—what do you lead to the fourth trick to get the contract down? 

                     S: AQ

                     H: QJ432

                     D: 1075

                     C: Q32         

?                                         S: J75

                                           H: 10864

                                           D: AK98

                                           C: K10

                     ?                     

Declarer must hold almost all the remaining high card points which you cannot see, or would not have had an opening bid. Your partner probably has almost nothing. So your best chance seems to be to try and make a trump trick. To do this, lead the fourth diamond. If declarer discards from hand and ruffs on board, then your jack of spades will set up as a winning trump. If declarer ruffs in hand, then maybe your partner has the ten and can over ruff. The full hands are shown below. Unfortunately declarer has the ten of spades and can ruff with it. However, your partner gets to make the killing discard, a low heart. Now, declarer cannot clear the high hearts from hand before crossing to board with high trumps, because partner will ruff the second round. Alternatively, if declarer pulls trumps first, he has no way back to the board to use the good hearts there, and you must win a club trick. Contract down. 

                          S: AQ

                          H: QJ432

                          D: 1075

                          C: Q32    

S: 63                                  S: J75

H: 97                                  H: 10865

D: QJ4                               D: AK98

C: J98654                          C: K10

                          S: K109842

                          H: AK

                          D: 632

                          C: A7        

Bridge Club of Chiang Mai welcomes new players. For information on the Club go to the web site at www.bridgeclubchiangmai .com or contact Chris Hedges at:  oga. [email protected] If you have bridge questions, or to send me your interesting hands, please contact me at: [email protected]



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