THE NEA BRIDGE by Phillip Alder
LOW-LEVEL BIDDING, HIGH-LEVEL DEFENSE
Tom Stoppard, my favorite playwright, said, “My life feels, week to week, incomplete to the level of being pointless if I am not in preparation for the next play or, ideally, into it.”
Bridge players, trick to trick, should feel incomplete in the level of their analysis if they are not prepared for the next trick and, ideally, the ones after that.
In this deal, what do you think of the bidding? And how did East-West defeat one heart?
West would have opened one no-trump, except that by partnership agreement it would have shown only 12 to 14 points. When playing a strong no-trump, you should open one no-trump to avoid the rebid problem after one club – one spade.
When South balanced with one heart, North decided to pass. He felt that one spade would strongly suggest at least a five-card suit (and South might have doubled with length in both majors) and that one no-trump was unappealing. (It fails after a club lead.)
Against one heart, West led the diamond queen. Declarer won in his hand and led the club king, which West correctly ducked. West took South’s second club with his ace, East showing an odd number of clubs. West continued with his second diamond. Declarer won and tried a spade, but West won with his ace. Now, how could he get his partner on lead?
There was only one chance. West shifted to a low heart, and East came through, winning with his king. East cashed the diamond jack, on which West discarded his remaining spade, and East gave West a spade ruff. West then sat back and waited for two more trump tricks. Pretty!