THE NEA BRIDGE by Phillip Alder
INTERESTING CHANCES FOR BOTH SIDES
When you look at all 52 cards of some bridge deals, it is not clear how either the bidding or the play will go. This layout arose during a social game with strong players. What was the outcome in six clubs after West led the heart king?
The auction was involved. North’s negative double showed his four-card spade suit. Then, when South indicated extra values by jumping to three no-trump, North bid his long diamond suit. South control-bid (cue-bid) four hearts to suggest a slam. West’s double was futile. And, finally, South chose six clubs.
Both six clubs and six diamonds can be made, but each requires double-dummy play. (Declarer must know where all of the cards lie.)
The expert in six clubs adopted a sensible line. After winning with his heart ace, South ran his diamond queen to East’s king.
East, thinking his partner would have led a singleton if he had one, returned a heart. But declarer ruffed in the dummy, cashed the club king, crossed to the spade king, and drew trumps, squeezing East in spades and diamonds (not that it mattered, because South could have established dummy’s diamond suit).
East should have returned a diamond. If South had had a singleton queen, he was unlikely to have rebid three no-trump. Also, even if he had, the diamond lead probably would not have cost. West would have needed a trump trick to defeat the contract, which was not likely to evaporate.