THE NEA BRIDGE by Phillip Alder
OVERTRICKS CAN BE OH SO TEMPTING
Denis Waitley, a founding member of the National Council on Self-Esteem, said, “Success is almost totally dependent upon drive and persistence. The extra energy required to make another effort or try another approach is the secret of winning.”
That is true, but sometimes, at the bridge table, trying for an extra trick can prove very expensive. Still, occasionally a defender can dangle a tempting carrot that leaves declarer thinking he has a no-cost shot at an overtrick.
In this deal, South is in three no-trump, and West leads the heart 10. How might West tempt declarer into an indiscretion?
South should open one no-trump. Yes, the club holding of two honors doubleton is a minus, but the five-card suit is a compensating plus.
Declarer starts with seven top tricks: three hearts (given the opening lead), one diamond and three clubs. Obviously, he will attack clubs. However, West can set a nasty trap for South.
Declarer takes the first trick in his hand and cashes the club king. West should play his five. Then, when South continues with the club queen, West should drop his eight. He is trying to make it look as though he started with J-8-5 and East with the 6-4-doubleton (and was starting a high-low with his six).
If declarer falls for the ruse, he will win the third trick with his queen and suddenly find that he cannot make the contract. Instead, South must overtake his club queen with dummy’s ace and continue with the club 10 to drive out West’s jack. Then declarer gets at least three hearts, one diamond and five clubs.