THE NEA BRIDGE by Phillip Alder
PUSHY BIDDING NEEDS CAREFUL PLAY
Cindy Crawford said, “I just want to be a nice girl from the Midwest. I don’t want to have to act like a heavy to be taken seriously, and I resent that I have to be so pushy and political sometimes just to do my job.”
At the bridge table, if you get pushy in the bidding, you had better take the play seriously to complete the job successfully.
In today’s deal, West leads the heart king against six spades. How should South play?
In this modern auction, North’s fit-showing redouble indicated exactly three-card spade support. South’s three-heart cue-bid was a game-force. Four hearts was a control-bid (cue-bid), showing first-round control in that suit and expressing slam interest. Four no-trump was Roman Key Card Blackwood, the reply indicating three key cards (here, two aces and the spade king).
South would like to draw trumps and establish dummy’s club suit by cashing the ace and king and ruffing down the queen. However, even if that worked, there would be no immediate dummy entry to get to the last three clubs. Instead, South must hope West has the club queen.
South wins with his heart ace and cashes the spade ace. But then he must not proceed too quickly. When West drops the 10, declarer must carefully unblock dummy’s nine. Next, South plays a spade to dummy’s queen, finesses his eight on the way back, and draws East’s last trump. Finally, declarer runs the club 10 and makes his contract. He takes five spades, one heart and six clubs.