THE NEA BRIDGE by Phillip Alder

Sylvester Stallone said, “Success is usually the culmination of controlling failure.”
In today’s deal, success is the culmination of controlling the trump suit. This is easier to do when presented with a deal on paper. At the table, it is harder because no one is ringing a warning bell.
South is in four hearts. West starts the defense with his three top spades. How should South continue?
North opened one club because his hand was too strong for a 15-17-point no-trump. South was tempted simply to raise clubs. However, he knew that the game revolves around the majors. So he responded one heart. West made a takeout double, promising four spades and four or more diamonds. North’s jump to game was an overbid given his 4-3-3-3 distribution, but he wanted to try for the game bonus. If he had bid only three hearts, South would have also had a close decision. And note that in five clubs, North should lose two spades and one diamond.
It looks so easy: Ruff the third spade, draw trumps and run the clubs for an overtrick.
Here, though, when West discards on the second round of hearts, the contract is suddenly unmakable. Declarer has lost trump control.
South should be happy to lose one trump trick in order to get these 10: three hearts, one diamond, five clubs and the spade ruff. Declarer must concede the first or second round of trumps. Then he can win East’s return, draw trumps and run the clubs.
At the worst, this line costs an overtrick when hearts are 3-2 all along.

Daily Republic Syndicated Content


Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Please read our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy before commenting.

  • Recent Articles

  • Enter your email address to subscribe and receive notifications of new posts by email.

  • Special Publications »

    Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our Terms of Service (updated 4/30/2015) and Privacy Policy (updated 4/7/2015).
    Copyright (c) 2016 McNaughton Newspapers, Inc., a family-owned local media company that proudly publishes the Daily Republic, Mountain Democrat, Davis Enterprise, Village Life and other community-driven publications.