THE NEA BRIDGE by Phillip Alder
IN A GRAND SLAM, COUNT WINNERS FIRST
Denis Waitley, a motivational speaker and author, said, “The reason most people never reach their goals is that they don’t define them …
or even seriously consider them as believable or achievable. Winners can tell you where they are going, what they plan to do along the way, and who will be sharing the adventure with them.”
A bridge player knows his goal, but unless he counts winners and losers, he will often not reach it, and partner would then be sharing the failure with him.
In this deal, South reaches seven spades. After West leads the diamond queen, what should declarer do?
Although South had only 16 high-card points, he had so many playing tricks that he was right to jump-rebid two spades, which guaranteed at least five clubs (his first-bid suit) and was game-forcing. North then used two doses of Roman Key Card Blackwood, learning first that his partner had three key cards (two aces and the spade king, or three aces), and second that he had the spade queen and club king.
South starts with only nine top tricks: four spades, two hearts, one diamond and two clubs. He needs to establish his club suit, which will generate extra club winners and more trump tricks with ruffs in the dummy. And usually in this situation, it is right to play on the side-suit first.
Declarer wins with dummy’s diamond ace, plays a club to his ace, ruffs a club low on the board, returns to his hand with a trump, ruffs another club with the spade jack, draws trumps, and claims.