THE NEA BRIDGE by Phillip Alder
THE DUMMY IS DEAD. LONG LIVE DUMMY!
Bill Watterson said, “Weekends don’t count unless you spend them doing something completely pointless.” Bear that in mind as the weekend is about to start.
However, another of those words is relevant to today’s North hand: pointless. And sometimes you have bid with a true Yarborough. South opens two clubs, strong, artificial and forcing. North responds two diamonds, weak, artificial and forcing. South rebids two spades, natural and forcing. What should North do now?
Usually, with a very bad hand, responder gives a second negative: either two no-trump (traditional) or three clubs (modern), according to partnership preference. Here, though, with four-card support for opener’s major, responder should jump to four of that major. This indicates at least four trumps but no first- or second-round control: no ace, void, king or singleton.
Against four spades, West leads the heart queen. How should South plan the play?
Declarer has two heart losers, so can afford only one trump loser, not two. There is just one layout that will save South: either opponent must have a singleton queen. Declarer should take the first trick and lead his spade king. And because this deal is seeing the light of day, you just know that will work.
Finally, South might have rebid three no-trump, which North would have passed because he could not be sure of an eight-card major-suit fit. (This is a bad sequence for Standard.) Then, if West had led a club, South would have had to make the same spade play.