THE NEA BRIDGE by Phillip Alder
SHOULD YOU DO THIS OR DO THAT?
John Tyndall, an English physicist who died in 1893, said, “Life is a wave that in no two consecutive moments of existence is composed of the same particles.”
At the bridge table, usually when the right choice of bid or play is not clear, you have two possibilities. Consider both of them, and with luck it will become apparent, which is preferable.
In this deal, South is in five diamonds. West leads the spade four. How should declarer plan the play?
South might have opened five diamonds, but that would have risked missing a slam. East’s double of one no-trump was for takeout of diamonds, the opener’s suit. Yes, East might have bid two hearts to get his five-card major into the game, but the double was more flexible. Then South bid what he hoped he could make. Note that if he had gambled on the majors by rebidding three no-trump, that contract would have made easily.
Declarer has three possible losers: one in each side-suit. He also has only 10 winners: one spade, eight diamonds and one club. He needs a second spade trick. And if West has led away from the king, that trick will materialize immediately. But what happens if East produces the spade king?
Yes, South’s queen is now established, but how can he get to dummy’s spade ace? The answer is to hope that West has the spade jack and to drop the queen under East’s king.
Suppose East shifts to the club king. Declarer wins, draws trumps, and plays his spade three to dummy’s 10. If that finesse loses, the contract was unmakable.