THE NEA BRIDGE by Phillip Alder
WHEN IN A DILEMMA, TRANSFER IT TO THEM
Sydney J. Harris, a former journalist in Chicago, said, “Our dilemma is that we hate change and love it at the same time; what we really want is for things to remain the same but get better.”
You are often faced with a dilemma at the bridge table. Perhaps, should you win this trick or lose it? That’s one reason why we love and hate this game. The way out of a dilemma, of course, is to analyze logically. In this deal, South blasts into six spades. After West leads the diamond king, what should declarer do?
North’s two-no-trump response over West’s takeout double guaranteed four or more spades and at least game-invitational values: 10-plus support points and eight or fewer losers. South’s sensible leap to the small slam kept the defenders in the dark. Note that a club lead would have defeated six spades, and a slow, tortuous auction might have highlighted that.
South is faced with two losers: one heart and one club. But he can get home by putting the opponent with the heart ace in a dilemma. Which opponent will that be?
Based on the bidding, it is more likely to be West than East.
Declarer must ruff the opening lead in his hand. Then he draws trumps and leads his heart five. What does West do?
If he wins with his ace, South has 12 tricks via seven spades, three hearts, one diamond and one club. Alternatively, if West plays low, declarer wins with dummy’s jack and discards his heart king on the diamond ace. Then he claims, conceding one club and ruffing his other two clubs on the board.