THE NEA BRIDGE by Phillip Alder
FIFTEEN ARROWS FOR DECLARER’S BOW
The book “15 Winning Cardplay Techniques” by David Bird and Tim Bourke (Vivisphere) is aimed at intermediate players; it is not for beginners. In 200 large pages, Bird lucidly describes Bourke’s deals. And every chapter ends with four quiz questions so the reader can check whether he has the idea.
To make life more realistic than in the book, I will not tell you from which chapter this deal comes. How should South plan the play in six no-trump? West leads a low heart. Unsurprisingly, dummy’s queen loses to East’s king, and a heart comes back to dummy’s ace.
In the bidding, North had the values to respond three diamonds, but did not like to stress such a weak suit. South’s rebid showed a good 22 to 24 points.
Declarer must try to take these 12 tricks: two spades, one heart, five diamonds and four clubs. So, first, the club finesse must be winning. But the diamond suit is blocked. After playing off his three honors, South must be able to get into the dummy. What is declarer’s dummy entry?
At first thought, perhaps you thought East needed to have a singleton or doubleton club king. But king-third is also fine because South has the five and dummy the six.
At trick three, declarer should lead dummy’s club queen and, if East plays low, unblock his 10 (or jack). Here, then South plays a club to his jack (or 10), cashes his club ace and three diamonds, overtakes the club five with dummy’s six, takes the last two diamonds, and claims.
That was two pretty pieces of unblocking by declarer.