THE NEA BRIDGE by Phillip Alder
SEEING CORRECT PATH TAKES FORESIGHT
Ed Koch, former mayor of New York City, said, “In action, be primitive; in foresight, a strategist.”
It requires foresight to see the strategy necessary to make this six-spade contract. What should South do after West leads the club king?
When North raised to three spades, promising some points (usually 4 to 7), South used Roman Key Card Blackwood. North showed one key card (an ace or the spade king). Then South asked for specific kings, North denying any. (Note that the heart king would make a grand slam sure, but the club king would not.)
South has two possible heart losers. He also has only 11 top tricks: seven spades, one heart, two diamonds and one club. So at first glance it looks as if declarer needs the heart finesse to work. However, assuming West has the club queen behind his king-lead, he is a candidate for an endplay.
South, though, must have the foresight to ruff a club at trick two, and not to ruff with the spade two. South needs three dummy entries (two for club ruffs and one for the endplay), which must be the club ace and two in trumps.
After the club ruff, declarer takes his spade ace, overtakes a middle spade with dummy’s jack, ruffs another club high, cashes his top diamonds, and plays the spade two to dummy’s four. With the preliminaries complete, South calls for the club jack and discards his heart five.
West is trapped, forced either to lead away from the heart king or to concede a ruff-and-sluff (South ruffs on the board and sluffs his heart queen).