THE NEA BRIDGE by Phillip Alder
SHOULD YOU GO LOW, MIDDLE OR HIGH?
“The most perfect political community is one in which the middle class is in control and outnumbers both of the other classes.” Who said that?
Second hand to play to a trick, regardless of political affiliation, usually goes either low or high. Sometimes, though, middle is best. Is that true here?
South is in three no-trump. West leads his fourth-highest spade. How should South plan the play?
North’s use of Stayman would not appeal to everyone with such relatively weak hearts. However, if South also has four hearts and short diamonds, four hearts could be the only making game.
Although South has just four top tricks (one spade, two hearts and one diamond), four more winners are available from clubs and at least one more from spades. But what is the danger?
Almost every player would immediately call for dummy’s spade six. Here, though, that should prove fatal. East will win with his king and should realize that there is no point plugging away at spades. East will shift to the diamond two, establishing that suit while West still has the club ace. The defenders will take one spade, three diamonds and one club.
Winning the first trick with the spade ace might work; West might not find the diamond switch. However, the best play is dummy’s queen. This probably costs an overtrick if West has the king. But here East will surely win with his king and return a spade. South takes his jack, drives out the club ace, and claims.
The original comment was made by Aristotle, who lived from 384 to 322 B.C.