THE NEA BRIDGE by Phillip Alder
LISTEN CLOSELY TO THEIR BIDDING
Jeff Lynne, who has had a stellar musical career, in particular with the Electric Light Orchestra and the Traveling Wilburys, and has gone on to become a major record producer, said, “I think from the age of 13, I really wanted to be a producer, and I’ve always thought that the producer was the top of the tree.”
Maybe you learned bridge when you were 13; but at whatever age you started playing, the number 13 is critical. Each suit has 13 cards and each hand starts with 13 cards. East forgot that in this deal.
South was in four hearts after the given auction. West led the club ace. When East signaled with the nine (starting a high-low with his doubleton), West cashed the club king and gave his partner a club ruff. What should East have done now?
The auction was natural. North’s two-no-trump rebid was game-invitational. South’s three-heart bid indicated at least 5-5 in the majors. North naturally raised to four hearts. (Three no-trump fails if the defenders attack diamonds early in the play.)
At trick four, East tried to cash the diamond ace to set the contract. However, South trumped and crossruffed home. East should have analyzed the auction and play.
South showed at least 10 cards in the majors. He also followed to three rounds of clubs. So South had to be void of diamonds.
East should have put the diamond ace back into his hand and instead led a trump. Then the contract would have failed, South being victim to the bad spade break.
Never stop counting.