THE NEA BRIDGE by Phillip Alder
HOW DO YOU REMOVE THE EXTRA LOSER?
Aristotle Onassis said, “Don’t sleep too much. If you sleep three hours less each night for a year, you will have an extra month and a half in which to succeed.”
I wonder if he tried that plan, but fell asleep on the job.
A bridge player cannot afford to sleep at the table. He should count winners and losers, and watch all of the cards as they are played.
In this deal, the problem is South’s extra loser. West leads the spade queen against three hearts. How should South proceed?
North had a textbook game-invitational limit raise, showing at least four hearts, 10-12 support points (high-card points plus short-suit points) and eight losers. South guessed well to pass.
When the dummy comes down, declarer should count his losers. Here he has one club, one heart and at least two spades. He has only seven sure winners: four hearts, two diamonds and one club.
South should play a low spade from the dummy at the first two tricks. East is bound to have the ace and might be forced to play it. Here, though, the defenders take the first three tricks. Then East shifts to a low club. What next?
Declarer has gained an eighth winner, his last spade. But he still has five losers: three spades, one heart and one club. How can he eliminate that club loser?
South must immediately take three diamond tricks. He cashes his diamond ace, plays a diamond to dummy’s jack, and discards his club jack on the diamond king. Then declarer plays trumps and claims.