THE NEA BRIDGE by Phillip Alder
TRICKS MUST COME FROM SOMEWHERE
James C. Dobson, an evangelical author, psychologist and founder of Focus on the Family, said, “Don’t marry the person you think you can live with; marry only the individual you think you can’t live without.”
That is no doubt true. At the bridge table, though, don’t make the play you think is right; make the play after which either your contract cannot fail or the opponent’s contract cannot make.
In this deal, East is defending against five diamonds. West leads the heart queen, and South calls for dummy’s five. How might East hope to defeat the contract?
After South opened one diamond, West made a two-heart weak jump overcall, showing a good six-card suit and 6 to 10 high-card points. East raised to four hearts, a contract that would have made when both major-suit finesses worked. However, South rebid five clubs, and North converted to five diamonds. Since neither side was sure who could make what, this was passed out.
The defenders need three tricks to defeat five diamonds. East can see one in hearts. His side cannot take a second heart, because West’s overcall guaranteed a six-card suit. Any minor-suit tricks would come in the fullness of time. That left spades to be considered. Who should be attacking that suit, West or East? Clearly East. His leading spades through South rated to be more profitable than West’s leading around to South.
So East should win the first trick with his heart ace and shift to the spade queen. Here, that works beautifully, netting the first three tricks for the defense.