THE NEA BRIDGE by Phillip Alder
IT IS FUN TO TIE A WORLD RECORD
Alyson Stoner, an actress, dancer and singer, said, “I want to learn how to play an instrument. I want to break a world record. I’m just a very determined, motivated type of person.”
If one wants to be the best at anything, it requires a lot of time and effort. But, occasionally, one can tie a world record without that much sweat — as in this deal.
How should South play in six spades after West leads the club queen to declarer’s ace?
When North raised to three spades, that promised some values. (Four spades would have been weaker than three spades.) Then South bid what he hoped he could make.
With the side suits solid, the only potential problem is in the trump suit. An unlucky careless declarer would cash the ace and finish down one. A lucky careless declarer would play a diamond to dummy’s ace and call for the spade queen. Here, that works, but would be unsuccessful when West has all three missing trumps.
The more thoughtful player works out how to overcome a 3-0 break either way round. He might lead a low spade toward dummy’s queen. But since he may get an overtrick when East has the singleton king, South leads a diamond to dummy’s ace, then calls for the spade two. When East plays the three, declarer covers with his four, here winning the trick and tying one first-round-of-trumps world record.
Finally, if East discards on the trump, South wins with his ace and leads back toward dummy’s queen.