The Doctor's Consultation: by Dr. Iain Corness
Liver, ethanol and health foods
Ask any man which is his most
important organ and he will undoubtedly point to his bladder’s siphon hose.
Perhaps the magic symbol of masculinity, but it is certainly not the be all
and end all. (Though indiscriminate use can end all!)
The liver is one of the more important organs you possess. Without it you
will die, whereas you can get by without a kidney, or a lung or a thyroid,
or even Willy the wonder wand for example (a delicacy enjoyed by Isaan
ducks, I believe)! Yes, I’d rate my liver above my thyroid any day.
Think of your liver as a filtering and de-toxifying device. Chemicals are
taken up by the liver, to be broken down into non-toxic chemicals, all to
protect your system. Clever organ your liver, to know what’s good for you
and what isn’t.
The most well known liver toxin is our old friend Ethanol, more usually
referred to as booze. There is “common wisdom” that says certain types of
booze are more damaging than others, but that just isn’t so. Irrespective of
the color or shape of the bottle it came in, ethanol is ethanol, is ethanol.
It is the percentage of alcohol that is the important factor. That alcohol
affects the liver is generally accepted, with the end result being called
Cirrhosis, a fibrous hardening of the liver which then becomes unable to
carry out its job correctly. Toxins build up. You feel unwell and it’s all
downhill from there.
Some proprietary or prescription drugs can produce an inflammation of the
liver tissues too. Or worse, produce a breakdown of the liver tissue itself.
Amongst these is the headache medication paracetamol (the ubiquitous
medication you can even buy in the corner stores), but before you throw them
out of your bathroom cabinet, it requires some heavy and very frequent
dosage of paracetamol to do this.
Other prescription items that may produce liver problems include Methyldopa,
several penicillins, Simvastatin (the cholesterol lowering drug), Diclofenac
(a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory) and Ketoconazole (anti-fungal). But it
is rare - so don’t stop taking your prescriptions yet!
Prescription drugs can be dangerous (even though you can get most of them
over the counter in Thailand), but that’s why they have a PI (patient
information) leaflet inside the box (the bit you throw away and don’t read).
Probably if you read it, you wouldn’t take it!
However, what about “Health food” preparations? The purveyors of these all
cite the fact that the ingredients are “natural” so everyone assumes that
this means “safe”. Not so, I’m afraid. Lead, for example, is a naturally
occurring compound, and not much good for young kidneys. However, since we
are talking about liver problems, hands up all those of you who have heard
of Echinacea? Supposedly fixes everything from falling hair to fallen arches
- but is it “safe”? Well, Echinacea, along with Kombucha Tea are two of the
commonest compounds showing a well documented history of being toxic to the
liver. So if you’re sipping Kombucha tea because you’ve drunk too much
alcohol last night, I would suggest that you change to water, or go back to
booze (stop hangovers - stay drunk)!
Others for sale in the Health Food shops with known toxic effects on the
liver include Evening primrose oil, Valerian, Chaparral, Japanese
Daisaiko-to (for dyspepsia), Chinese Jin-bu-huan and several forms of herbal
teas such as those from Heliotroprium, Senecio crotalaria and Symphytum.
Makes you think that the shops that sell them may be incorrectly named,
But while the column this week seems to be spreading doom, gloom and
disaster, it’s not quite that bad. The liver is a very powerful organ and is
capable of regenerating itself quite quickly, so in most cases of toxicity
following ingestion of chemical compounds (including alcohol), by stopping
taking it the liver recovers and the patient feels well again.
So remember that if you are taking anything regularly and you feel unwell,
it may be the liver - but tell your doctor everything you have been taking!
And no thanks, I’ll give the herbal tea a miss today.
Care for Dogs:
By Ana Gracey, Care for Dogs
Gentle dog needs a home
Vivian, a lovely, gentle and
affectionate dog would make
a great pet for someone who needs a companion.
Vivian is 1 to 2
years old and, despite coming across as a little nervous at first,
loves people and responds very well to kindness and affection. She
is a lovely looking dog with ‘shades of honey’ coloured fur and
intelligent eyes. She is very healthy with all her shots and is, of
course, sterilised. Vivian is just starting to really enjoy her
walks after being, at first, afraid of the lead. A quiet, gentle
girl, she would respond well to similar owners – older children or
teenagers would suit her better than very young children.
Have you a place in your heart and home for this precious girl? She
would be a wonderful addition to any home. Contact Care for Dogs,
English (08 47 52 52 55) Thai (08 69 13 87 01) or e-mail:
[email protected] to make an appointment to visit the shelter
and meet Vivian or any of the many other dogs waiting for you.
Heart to Heart
It’s taken a couple of years, but at long last I’ve found someone like
your description of a good Thai woman. She’s older than any of the bar
ladies, never been married before and has traveled overseas, so knows
there’s more countries in the world than Buriram. Educated in Bangkok
and has a Bachelor’s degree, and a proud homemaker as well. I just can’t
believe how lucky I have been in meeting her. Thanks to you, Hillary, I
kept on looking. You said there were some nice girls out there and
that’s what kept me going. Thanks again
I am so glad you found someone who looks like your mate. You (and I) are
correct. There’s a lot of nice girls out there if you can be bothered
looking. Not as immediately available as the ladies from the bars, but
well worth searching for if you want someone to share your life, and not
just your bed and bankroll.
Do you believe it is possible to have a normal relationship with a
katoey? I met this lady-boy who was working in a retail store and I was
immediately attracted to her. I say “her” because even though I know
she’s a lady-boy, she is as female as any real female I’ve ever met.
It’s a bit confusing I know, and I’m still confused myself, but she has
lived as a woman for the past five years and comes across as a natural
female. She is what you call “pre-op”, so even though she has the boob
development, she still has something left over from her male days, if
you can understand what I mean. She told me everything, because she said
she didn’t want to shock me later. She’s shocked me earlier, I think! We
haven’t been together, and just go to restaurants and movies at present.
She doesn’t dress all flashy, so people don’t stare at her, though I
imagine they might suspect because she’s even taller than me, so they
are looking at me too. What do you think I should do? Carry on or stop
This is certainly a different one for me to tackle, this problem of your
relating to tackle. And that’s not rugby tackle. You don’t say how old
you are, or how old she is, so I have to be a little wary, though you
sound a little on the young (and impressionable) side, my Petal. There
is no reason why you cannot have a friendly relationship with anyone,
male or female, gay, straight or curved. However, I read into your
letter that you are more than a little anxious about what other people
might think of you in this relationship. It is for this reason I believe
you are probably biting off more than you could chew. Or make that
“should” chew. Going back to your question about “normal” relationships,
yes it is possible, but it needs each party to be a psychologically
secure person for this to happen. Since you are looking for help and
advice, I don’t think you are secure enough in yourself, so I would
stick to restaurants and movies, and keep the relationship as a friendly
Can you help please. Do all Thai people ask you the most personal
questions? Things like “How much money you make? You married yet? Why
not? You got girlfriend? You want me to go with you?” Apart from the
fact that this is considered a very rude way of starting a relationship
in the UK, I also find it very embarrassing when I am over here. How do
I get these people to stop doing this? You seem to have the answers for
everyone else, so I hope you have some for me too.
Shy and Retiring
Dear Shy and Retiring,
Or is that Shy and Retired? You have to look at where are these women
who ask such direct questions? My bet is in a bar somewhere. From that
background, they are not in the habit of issuing a gilt edged invitation
to dinner, hand inscribed in Olde English and a wax seal on the
envelope. Be real and be thankful that ‘these people’ as you call them
are interested enough in you to even ask questions. There’s only one
thing worse than being a wall-flower at parties, and that’s not being
asked at all. In actual fact, my turtledove, those inquiries are the
very cleverly designed “standard” bar girl questions to see if you are
worthwhile bothering with at all. If you have no money all interest will
be lost immediately. Likewise if you are married they will want to know
if “You marry Thai?” or whether your partner is waiting faithfully for
you back home in the UK, while you contemplate the unfaithful ideas.
Lighten up and when you are asked next time just say, “No money. Wife
take all money to boy bar,” and then laugh a lot. They’ll get the
message and you will be left happily lonely, then you can write me
letters asking why does nobody talk to you!
by Harry Flashman
12 rules to improve in 2010
are many hints/tips that can improve anyone’s photographs. With
the new year almost upon us, I thought that 12 rules for 12
months might be appropriate.
These rules are for the keen amateur, and I present my Rule of
12, which if you follow them through, I will guarantee you will
get better photographs. And get more fun out of your
The first is simply to shoot more images. Photography, like any
sport, recreation or pursuit is something where the more you do
it and practice it, the better you get. With today’s digital
cameras and large capacity memory cards, there is no excuse for
just taking one picture of that rose in your garden. Don’t take
the same photo ten times, but take several from different
angles, and see the differences. Shoot more pictures!
The one major fault in most amateur photographs is taking the
shot from too far away. From now on, make the subject the “hero”
and walk in several meters closer to make the subject fill the
Focussing! With modern auto-focus cameras the most obvious
focussing problem is where the subject is off-center. The magic
eye doesn’t know this and focuses on the background, leaving
your close-up subject soft and blurry. Focus on the subject and
use the focus lock facility of your camera.
Tripods I have mentioned recently, but one of these will expand
your picture taking no end. Camera shake becomes a thing of the
past, and you will take more time to compose your shots.
Don’t be afraid to convert the images on your memory card into a
CD, long before the card is full. It will keep your interest and
enthusiasm going. Any photoshop can do it for you, with the
price around B. 150.
Keep your interest and pride in your work by making enlargements
of your better photos. At around 80 baht for most places, this
is very cheap and enlargements do make good presents at Xmas
We all get lazy and it is too easy to end up just taking every
picture in the horizontal (landscape) format. Make it a habit to
always take at least two shots of each subject – one in the
horizontal format and the other in the vertical. You can get
some surprising results that way.
With color photography, which covers about 99.99 percent of most
pictures, the one major factor to give your skies and seas and
scenery some color oomph is the use of a polarizing filter. Get
one and use it.
You will always miss some “classic” shots and regret it later,
but you certainly will never get them if you don’t have a camera
with you. With so many incredible photo opportunities in
Thailand, you should be photographically ready at all times!
To give your daytime shots some extra sparkle, use “fill-in”
flash. Most new cameras have a little setting that will do this
automatically for you - even with point and shooters. If you
haven’t, then spend some time learning how to do it. It’s worth
it when you see the results you get.
To give yourself the impetus to go out and take photos, develop
a project and spend your leisure time building up the images. It
can be flowers or fashion, cars or canaries, but fix on
something and follow it through. It’s worth it, just for the
fact that it makes you become an “enquiring” photographer.
Finally, at the end of every year, give the camera a birthday by
buying it some new batteries. You won’t have a problem damaging
the sensitive innards with neglected battery acid and the
camera’s light metering system will work correctly every time.
It’s cheap insurance.
Here is the list to cut out, laminate and put in the camera bag.
1. Take more shots
2. Walk several meters closer
3. Use the focus lock
4. Buy a tripod
5. Make CDs before the memory card is full
6. Make enlargements of your better prints
7. Use different formats
8. Use a polarizing filter
9. Carry your camera with you
10. Use the flash during the day
11. Develop a project
12. Change the batteries
Money Matters: Paul Gambles MBMG International Ltd.
The Battle is Lost but can we win the War? Part 3
In the UK, the shadow
chancellor, George Osbourne, did something that no recent finance minister has
done in a long time. He told the truth. He said that “We are sinking in a sea of
He admitted that he would not lower taxes so not to increase the debt of the UK.
It is refreshing to hear there is someone out there, and who may soon get into
power, that actually realises what is going on.
Osbourne is brave to say this. It is not popular with the electorate or fellow
politicians but the fact is that people need to be made aware of the trouble the
world is now in - especially the western world. Basically, debt is at the heart
of our present financial woes. Nobody likes to think about it but the fact is
that the debt needs to be paid off. Creditors do not give money away. They want
their money back - usually with interest. This has been the case for centuries.
Another brave man is Mervyn King, the governor of the bank of England, who
basically echoed the words of George Osbourne. He said the British people would
be paying for the recent financial crisis for a generation. He again implored
the ostrich-like Gordon Brown to split banks and separate the retail arms from
the riskier investment operations. He is horrified the banks have done nothing,
despite “breathtaking” levels of support from the taxpayers. Needless to say,
this sage advice has been studiously ignored.
King warned that the government would have to make public finances more
sustainable and told people they should aim to be savers and not spenders in the
years to come. He went on, “Our national debt is rising rapidly, not least as
the consequence of support to the banking system. We shall all be paying for the
impact of this crisis on the public finances for a generation… To paraphrase a
great wartime leader, never in the field of financial endeavour has so much
money been owed by so few to so many. And, one might add, so far with little
real reform.” This last sentence was a dig at the banks who are getting ready to
pay out billions in bonuses.
George Osbourne was quoted as saying, “Mervyn King’s speech is powerful and
persuasive. His analysis of how the government’s system for regulating banks
failed and how there has been ‘little real reform’ since, is one I share.”
These criticisms do not come at a good time for Gordon Brown. The Office for
National Statistics latest report shows a record deficit in September of almost
GBP15 billion and a record high of GBP77 billion for the fist half of 2009. The
total net debt rose to just under GBP825 billion which is almost 60% of GDP
which is way over the government target of 40%.
However, when it comes to lending to governments, things can be different. In a
new book by two professors, Reinhart and Rogoff, This Time It’s Different, they
point out what we all know - bankers and those in charge of a country’s money
Ben Bernanke certainly falls into this bracket. He claimed credit (please
forgive the pun) for the supposed wealth everyone thought they had a few years
ago. Now he can take the blame for where we are now. As the two professors
suggest in their book, debt always causes trouble. France has defaulted on
sovereign debt eight times whilst Spain has managed to do this 13 times. This is
bad enough but Latin America makes them look decent and honourable. What with
usual banking problems, defaults and hyperinflation countries south of the Rio
Grande have managed to part lenders and their money with monotonous regularity.
What is just as tiresome is that the borrowers usually end up with more debt
than they started with.
So, what can we glean from history? Well, in a typical crisis, the following
- House prices fall by 36% over a six year period
- GDP per capita reduces by over nine percent
- Unemployment rates rise for five years, usually by seven percent
That is the ‘good’ news. However, this is what happens in a ‘typical’ crisis.
When things really go wrong like they did in the Great Depression then things
are a lot worse. For example:
- Construction fell 82% in America
- Unemployment in Germany went up over 30%
- Exports from Chile went down by 90%
- Public debt rises 86% over a thirty six month period
What happens then is that more disasters follow as there is too much debt in the
public sector. Both the US and UK now have deficits of over 10% of GDP. Neither
country knows what to do about this, especially the former which has its prime
minister blaming everyone but himself for the present crisis. He should look in
the mirror. We have lost the battle against credit and unemployment but we can
win the war, although it will be a long and painful experience.
And what can the individual do to guard against these dark times? There is still
money to be made out there. If it is done via good, cautious, active management
then it should be safe (a lot safer than the 100 US banks that went under this
year anyway) and it should beat anything you can get at the banks. More than
anything, diversify, diversify, diversify.
On a final note, it is worth taking on board that Harrods is now selling gold
bars. That says it all.
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
Life in Chiang Mai:
by Mark Whitman
Sequins and Dance
Spectacular song and dance show at the Playhouse
With the closure of the
Simon Cabaret a while ago, Chiang Mai has lacked a spectacular show as part
of an evening’s entertainment. The re-opening of the theatre as the
Playhouse has therefore filled a gap in the city’s night life. Called
Sequins and Dance is a highly professional hour-plus show suitable as they
say ‘for all the family’. Personally I doubt whether young children would
warm to the rather sophisticated routines but certainly its appeal is broad
based. Not to be confused with the sort of shows available at the go-go bars
Put very simply, this fast moving cabaret is in a totally different class in
terms of professionalism, choreography and the pace of those events. Sequins
and Dance features some dozen plus ‘lady boys’ and rather more young male
dancers. The routines are blissfully free from the usual clichés which
dominate such ‘cabarets’ in Thailand.
It won’t be too soon for me if I NEVER hear Welcome to Thailand or any
variation on songs normally sung by Liza Minnelli, Shirley Bassey, Gloria
Gaynor or Barbra Streisand ever again. And this is show is free of all of
those and their ilk. True there are versions of a few classics: Singin’ in
the Rain, the rumble from West Side Story and so on but the evening comes up
fresh and bright thanks to the energy of the performers and the spectacular
costumes and lively choreography. There is barely a second’s lull in the
proceedings and costume changes seem to be achieved in record time.
The former venue has been substantially revamped and there are 350 seats in
the theatre – rather ambitious for Chiang Mai even in high season (if that
ever happens again). Fortunately there is a space between the stage and
first row which means that the young performers are all the time on stage,
so that there is none of the embarrassing interaction between cast and
customers which ruined Simon. Also – as yet- the dancers are still
performing at full pelt. Let’s hope they can keep up the current standard.
Sequins and Dance is on every night, except Sundays, at 8p.m. and 10p.m. and
lasts about 70 minutes. There is a bar outside (and ample parking) with
further live entertainment until about midnight. Playhouse seemingly aims to
be more than just a show place and we can look forward to Kinnaree Park
there and a planned arts centre. More about this when it is under way. For
now, you can find the show at 177 Chang Puak Road (not far from the Mercure
Hotel and Tops Supermarket), T.Sriphum, A.Muang, Chiang Mai. Tel: 053 410
671-5. Or you can visit the web site at www.playhouse chinagmai.com for
further details. I enjoyed the show and if you are looking for an event with
plenty of sparkle and pretty people and somewhere to take your visiting
friends before or after dinner then check it out.
Let's Go To The Movies:
by Mark Gernpy
Last week I told my tale of woe about
not being able to use my ticket for the 3D version of Avatar on
opening day because, I was told by Major Cineplex staff, the 3D version they
received was “not widescreen” and they didn’t want to show it. “Widescreen
coming tomorrow.” So I saw 2D instead, in their big Cinema 7. Turns out
“widescreen” was never in the cards; the version they had was the one they
had to use. Which they did, starting Friday.
When I finally saw the 3D version, yes, the screen looks small. Maybe not
miniscule, but certainly it doesn’t fill up the screen like it should and as
you’re used to seeing. Here in Chiang Mai, there’s no comparison: the 2D
version showing on the two big screens of Cinemas 6 and 7 is much more
The IMAX 3D version in Bangkok is undoubtedly a different story altogether.
And there’s another problem with the 3D version used here: Unlike the 2D
version, surprisingly, the 3D version does not have English subtitles for
the long stretches of dialog in the Na’vi language, which James Cameron
created for the natives of the planet Pandora. At times, this dialog is
crucial, and you need to understand what is being said. Cameron even
created a special font and subtitle style for the Na’vi translations, and
not to have them is really a big goof in the 3D version.
Added to the fact that the current 3D technology results in a less bright
image, I would have to reluctantly say that you’re better off with the 2D
version here in Chiang Mai, despite the fact that James Cameron went to
great lengths to create the last word in 3D effects.
Now playing in Chiang Mai
Avatar: US, Action/ Adventure/ Sci-Fi/ Thriller – From
writer/director James Cameron, a major achievement and a technological
breakthrough. The story involves a band of humans pitted in battle against
a distant planet’s indigenous population. It’s a film of universal appeal
that just about everyone who ever goes to the movies will need to see. In
English and Na’vi dialogue, with English and Thai subtitles as needed in the
2D version; plus there’s a Thai-dubbed version. Vista version is 2D and
Thai-dubbed only. In 3D only in Cinema 3 at Airport Plaza. Reviews:
The film delivers on all counts. Not to be missed.
Sherlock Holmes: US/ UK/ Australia, Action/ Crime/ Thriller – A new take
on the Holmes canon. I’d say, once you get over the shock of seeing
Sherlock played as an action figure, it isn’t all that bad. A bit of the
old Holmes shows through. Robert Downey Jr. plays Holmes and Jude Law his
stalwart partner Watson. Mixed or average reviews.
The Storm Warriors: Hong Kong, Action/ Fantasy – A martial arts film by
the twins Oxide Pang Chun and Danny Pang. It’s the first Chinese film to
extensively use bluescreen, and do they make the most of it! Shot entirely
in three studios in Bangkok. Style is truly great; substance is
questionable. Unfortunately, in a Thai-dubbed version only, with no English
subtitles. But I loved the visuals, and the fantasy.
October Sonata: Thai, Drama/ Romance – Set against a backdrop of the
October 1973 democracy demonstrations. Airport Plaza only.
The Founding of a Republic: China, Drama/ History – This film was made
for the 60th anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party’s founding of
China. Many of the country’s top stars were invited to star as leads,
supporting characters, or just a cameo in the film, including some of the
top Chinese stars like Jackie Chan and Jet Li, who only have one shot or one
line in the film. This huge political drama begins in 1945 and chronicles
the Chinese Civil War, which eventually led to the Kuomintang’s retreat onto
the island of Taiwan, and the Communist Party’s establishment of the new
country in 1949. The film makes no pretense of doing anything other than
recounting history from the current Chinese government’s point of view.
It’s propaganda, of course, but quite well done. Only in a Thai-dubbed
version with no English subtitles, and only at Vista.
Scheduled for December 30/31
The Treasure Hunter / Ci Ling: Taiwan, Romance/ Sci-Fi – A story
about time-traveling lovers who end up in Genghis Khan’s Mongolia to search
for an ancient treasure. With pop star-turned-actor Jay Chou.
Did You Hear About the Morgans?: US, Comedy/ Drama/ Romance – Starring
Hugh Grant, Sarah Jessica Parker, Sam Elliott, Mary Steenburgen. Grant and
Parker play an estranged New York couple who have the great misfortune to
witness a murder. Becoming the immediate targets of a hit man, they’re
whisked into the witness protection program and sent to Wyoming, a place
populated by rodeo cowboys and bears. Nothing much happens for the next 90
minutes. Generally unfavorable reviews, such as “Painful to watch.”
HOW DOES YOUR GARDEN GROW?: By Eric Danell, Dokmai Garden
The beloved toddy palm
scenery can be enjoyed a few kilometers south of the intersection where the
canal road meets the Samoeng road. You will see Doi Suthep in the
background, rice fields in the foreground, and the silhouettes of toddy
palms. The toddy palm, or palmyra palm (Borassus flabellifer, ton
tan), is a member of the once mighty lowland forests of India and Southeast
Asia, all now replaced by rice fields. This palm is still an important part
of the rice field landscape around Chiang Mai, however, and many times I
have seen photographers and painters at aforementioned intersection. This
tree and honey were the main source of sugar before the sugar cane (Saccharum
officinarum, oi) arrived from New Guinea in pre-historic times. The
sugary sap comes from the cut flower cluster. The Thai word for sugar is
“nam tan”, or “water of the toddy palm”. The Thai word for brown is “si nam
tan” or “sugar coloured”. The large fruits are quite ornamental, about the
size of a coconut, with a smooth blackish surface and a yellow patch. Edible
young fruits and toddy are available in June. To the Buddhist, this palm
symbolises a long life and a noble character (other trees disturb each other
with their branches). Its flowers are therefore depicted on temple details.
If somebody plants a toddy palm today, he will hardly live long enough to
enjoy a mature tree. However, if every generation plants trees, every
generation thereafter will be able to enjoy them. So, how do you contribute
to a beautiful world for future generations? Since the toddy palm has a deep
taproot, the palm is difficult to transplant or to keep in nurseries.
Instead you should collect the large seeds which are embedded in fibers of
the fallen fruits. Plant the seed just below the soil surface at your
selected site, water and mark the place with a stick. Do not move the seed,
as it will first produce a root which easily breaks. After about one year
you will see the first leaf. [email protected] dokmaigarden.co.th.
Bridge in Paradise :
by Neil Robinson
After some bidding challenges in recent columns, here is a hand to play.
With no one vulnerable East dealt and opened 2H, showing a weak hand and six
hearts. You are sitting South and end up as declarer in 4S. Imagine you are
playing rubber bridge, so overtricks are not important. West leads the king
of hearts. How do you play to ensure you make the contract?
? S: ?
? H: ?
? D: ?
? C: ?
Did you take the ace of hearts on the
first trick, hoping to eventually throw your second heart from hand on the
long diamond? If so, you may go down. Maybe you ducked the ace and took the
second heart, then pulled trumps by playing the ace and king of spades,
following the rule of eight ever, nine never. Wrong again! The full deal is
3 S: Q82
K54 H: QJ10873
9854 D: 2
AQ653 C: 1098
If spades do not split (which is likely
after an opening preempt showing a distributional hand), then you have a
potential spade loser and a potential heart loser. You cannot afford more
than one club loser. To make sure of this, you must keep East off lead. East
is the danger hand because a club lead by East through your king will result
in you losing to both the ace and queen of clubs. If you pull trumps by
playing the ace and king, then East will trump the second round of diamonds
and lead a club. Down one. So you must take a finesse in trumps to keep East
off lead. One today’s deal, this gives you an overtrick. But what happens if
West has the queen of spades? This is why it is important to duck the first
heart trick. Otherwise, West wins the queen of spades, leads a heart to get
into East’s hand, and back comes a club. The only way to guarantee East is
kept off lead and thus to guarantee the contract is both to duck the first
heart and to finesse in trumps. Congratulations if you saw the danger and
got it right!
Bridge Club of Chiang Mai welcomes new players. For information on the Club
go to the web site at www.bridgeclubchiangmai.com. If you have bridge
questions, or to send me your interesting hands, please contact me at: