THE NEA BRIDGE by Phillip Alder
ONE MORE SITUATION FOR ENTRY CARE
Aldo Leopold, an ecologist and environmentalist who died in 1948, said, “Conservation is a state of harmony between men and land.”
Entry conservation in bridge is a state of harmony between cards and hands. That was the subject of last week’s columns. But before we move on, here is one more declarer technique that requires careful entry handling. How should South play in four hearts after West leads the club king?
The auction followed a predictable path.
South has four losers: two diamonds and two clubs. He has only nine top tricks: two spades, six hearts and one club. The only chance for an extra winner is to establish dummy’s spades. But if that suit is splitting 4-2, as it rates to do, declarer will need three dummy entries: two for ruffing spades in his hand and one to return to the dummy to cash the 13th spade. What are those entries?
They must be one spade and two hearts. Why not two spades?
Because an entry counts only if South can immediately trump a spade in his hand.
This is the best line: Win the first trick with the club ace, cash the heart king, play off dummy’s top spades, and ruff a spade high in hand so that the unfriendly West cannot overruff. Continue with a low heart to dummy’s nine, ruff another spade high, and play a trump to dummy’s ace (removing West’s last heart). Then South can happily cash the spade six and discard one of his minor-suit losers.
That is textbook entry conservation and suit establishment.