THE NEA BRIDGE by Phillip Alder
THE CONCERTINA WENT FROM TWO TO FOUR
Yogi Berra, former New York Yankee catcher and part-time wit, said, “I usually take a two-hour nap from 1 to 4.”
In yesterday’s deal, declarer turned four losers into three by effectively forcing both opponents to win trick 13: West with a top club and East with a high trump. If that was a single for South, today’s deal is a double, turning four losers into two.
South is in four spades. West leads the heart king. How should the play proceed?
West made a two-spade Michaels Cue-Bid, showing at least 5-5 in hearts and a minor. Then North used a three-heart cue-bid raise, indicating at least game-invitational values with spade support.
South could see a lot of losers in his hand: some spades, two hearts and two diamonds. (Surely West had the king.) Declarer had only six top tricks: two spades, one heart, one diamond and two clubs. He decided that he would have to score as many trump tricks as possible.
South ducked the first trick, took West’s heart-jack continuation with his ace, and cashed both top trumps.
It was time to turn to the clubs. Declarer took his king, played a club to dummy’s ace, and ruffed a club in his hand. Back to dummy with a heart ruff and the diamond ace, South ruffed two more clubs to give him 10 tricks: two spades, one heart, one diamond, two clubs, one heart ruff in the dummy and three club ruffs in his hand.
What happened at tricks 12 and 13? West had two diamond winners and East held two top trumps. In a way, they both won those tricks.