THE NEA BRIDGE by Phillip Alder
MAKE THINGS CLEAR FOR YOUR PARTNER
Leo Szilard, a Hungarian-American scientist who conceived the nuclear chain reaction, the electron microscope, the linear accelerator and the cyclotron, said, “A scientist’s aim in a discussion with his colleagues is not to persuade, but to clarify.”
There will be times when one defender will not be sure of the location of a critical card. Then he will usually have to rely on his partner’s realizing the predicament and clarifying the situation.
In this example deal, how should the defenders card to defeat three no-trump after West leads the club seven?
North, with a low doubleton, reasonably used Stayman to try to find a 4-4 spade fit.
First, let’s look at the deal from declarer’s point of view. He has eight top tricks: two spades, three hearts, two diamonds and one club (the first trick). If diamonds are favorable, he has overtricks in his future. So he wins trick one, plays a diamond to dummy’s ace and calls for another diamond. What should East discard?
Second, let’s go back to trick one. East must play the club jack, bottom of touching honors when playing third hand high. The snag is that West does not know who has the queen; it could be East or South.
Third, East should apply the Rule of Eleven. Seven from 11 is four. So there are four clubs higher than the seven in the North, East and South hands combined. And East has seen all four. He must clarify the situation for his partner by discarding the club queen!
Then, when West gets in with his diamond queen, he will cash four club tricks for down one.