THE NEA BRIDGE by Phillip Alder
PLACE THE CARDS FROM THE BIDDING
Samuel Johnson, an 18th-century English essayist, said, “The two offices of memory are collection and distribution.”
One of the offices of success at the bridge table is collection of information, which might involve hand distribution — as in this deal.
South is in four hearts after East opened one club. West leads his lowest club. East wins with his king, cashes his ace, and continues with a third round to declarer’s queen. How should South continue?
South’s leap to four hearts has two ways to win: The contract might make, or he might talk his opponents out of a higher-scoring contract.
South seems to have 11 tricks: two spades, seven hearts, one diamond and one club. And that will be true if hearts are 2-1. But when declarer learns that clubs are 3-3, what must East’s hand distribution be?
There is only one answer: 4-3-3-3. (If he had four diamonds, he would have opened one diamond, not one club.) So South does not have a trump entry to the board. And surely East has the diamond king for his opening bid. What can declarer do?
There is a clever solution. After winning the third trick, South should cash two top trumps, then sacrifice a heart trick by leading a low heart. East takes the trick with his jack, but what can he do now?
Nothing! East has to lead a spade or a diamond, which gives declarer access to the dummy.
Note that East cannot play his heart jack earlier, because dummy’s eight would become an entry.