THE NEA BRIDGE by Phillip Alder
ANOTHER LOOK AT A DECEPTIVE DEAL
Steven Wright, a comedian known for his deadpan style, said, “Right now I’m having amnesia and deja vu at the same time.”
If you are experiencing deja vu and are not sure why, it is because this is the same deal as in yesterday’s column, except that it has been rotated by 180 degrees to keep South as the declarer.
In a duplicate, no doubt South should have passed out three no-trump, but he corrected to four hearts, not expecting his wife to bid three no-trump with a void. However, what should happen in four hearts after West leads the spade ace?
A quick glance at the North-South hands suggests that seven diamonds might make. But then you notice the 4-1 breaks in each minor, which, as we saw yesterday, make 12 tricks the limit.
Another cursory look, seeing the K-Q-10-tripleton of trumps, suggests that four hearts will make, perhaps with an overtrick. But not if the defenders keep plugging away at spades. South runs out of trumps and can win only nine tricks.
At this table, though, East unwisely signaled with his nine under West’s ace. South ruffed, cashed the heart ace, and played another heart (discarding minors from the board). West won and led a spade, dummy’s eight forcing out the queen. South ruffed and played two rounds of clubs. East ruffed but had no winning continuation. When he tried a low spade, declarer discarded a diamond and won with dummy’s jack, played a diamond to his hand, and led a trump, claiming when they split.
That was very nicely played.