THE NEA BRIDGE by Phillip Alder
HOW MANY ENTRIES FOR THREE FINESSES?
George S. Kaufman, a playwright, director and producer who died in 1961, said, “Once upon a time there were three bears: Papa Bear, Mama Bear and Camembert.”
In the better-known story about the three bears, Goldilocks entered their house through the front door and ate the baby bear’s porridge — presumably leaving the cheese in the fridge!
At the bridge table, as we have been studying this week, we need entries for a variety of reasons. In this deal, it is to take some finesses. How should South play in three no-trump after West leads the spade queen?
South’s sequence showed a balanced hand with 23 or 24 points (or a good 22). North shrugged his shoulders and raised to game.
South starts with six top tricks: one spade, one heart and four clubs. He could establish three winners in diamonds, but surely the defenders would then take at least one diamond and four spades.
Instead, declarer must assume that the heart finesse is working and chase after one spade, four hearts and four clubs. However, South might need to take the heart finesse three times. This requires three doors — entries — to the dummy. And they are available if declarer is careful with his clubs.
After winning the second (or first) trick with his spade ace, South leads his club eight and overtakes with dummy’s nine. He is on the board, so he takes a heart finesse. Next, declarer overtakes his club 10 with dummy’s jack and takes a second heart finesse. Then he leads the club queen to dummy’s king, takes a third heart finesse, and claims.