THE NEA BRIDGE by Phillip Alder
ARE YOU SUFFERING FROM DEJA VU?
Steven Wright, a comedian who specializes in deadpan delivery, said, “Right now I’m having amnesia and deja vu at the same time.”
Cast your mind back to yesterday’s column. Then look at this one. Maybe you will have a Steven Wright moment.
West is defending against four hearts. He leads off with the club ace: six, queen, nine. How should he hope to defeat the contract?
The bidding is instructive. North is right to make a takeout double over one club. True, if South does not have a five-card major, the ensuing 4-3 major-suit fit might be worse than a 5-3 or 5-4 diamond fit. But a good South will have a five-card major. East made a pre-emptive jump raise to three clubs, promising five or more clubs and a weak hand. With game-invitational or greater strength, he would have responded with an artificial two no-trump. (When responder has a big balanced hand, he starts with redouble over an opponent’s takeout double.) South cue-bid four clubs to show a strong two-suiter. (With a good one-suiter, he would have jumped in that suit.)
Note East’s play of the club queen. When a defender cannot win a trick, he plays top of touching honors (assuming he can afford to do so, of course).
Now West should see four defensive tricks: two clubs, the heart king and a diamond ruff. At trick two, not later, West must shift to his singleton diamond. He then gets in with the heart king, underleads his club king to give East the lead, and receives a diamond ruff.