THE NEA BRIDGE by Phillip Alder
MAKE THE MOST OF THE ONE ENTRY
Daniel J. Bernstein, a research professor of computer science at the University of Illinois in Chicago, said, “The most important function of a bibliographic entry is to help the reader obtain a copy of the cited work.”
The most important function of a bridge entry is to help the player obtain the maximum number of tricks.
In this deal, how would you program a computer (South) to make three no-trump? West leads a low heart. East wins with his queen and returns the suit to dummy’s ace.
One thing should be immediately apparent to South: If he loses the lead before he has taken nine tricks, he will go down. The defenders will cash too many heart tricks.
Next, declarer should realize that he needs the club finesse to succeed. And if it is winning, he can collect nine tricks via one spade, one heart, three diamonds and four clubs.
The other hurdle is that the club finesse might need to be taken three times. When this is the case, first lead the lowest card that can take the trick when the finesse is working. Here, South should first run dummy’s club nine. Then he runs the queen. Next he plays a club to his jack. And lastly he claims.
Note that if declarer starts with dummy’s club queen, East defeats the contract by not covering. Then, if South plays his two, he will have to take the next club trick in his hand. Or, if declarer unblocks the 10 or jack under the queen, East can cover the nine to leave his eight beating South’s two on the fourth round of the suit.