THE NEA BRIDGE by Phillip Alder
YOU ARE IN SIX, NOT IN SEVEN
Who were the most prolific authors?
Two who came to my mind were Isaac Asimov and P.G. Wodehouse (although it seems that many have outwritten P.G.W.). But as Asimov said, “If my doctor told me I had only six minutes to live, I wouldn’t brood. I’d type a little faster.”
His keyword for this deal is “six.” South is in six spades. West leads the diamond ace. How should declarer proceed after ruffing?
This week, we are looking at six deals from one of my classes about handling the trump suit correctly. This is the hardest, in my opinion — unless you have seen the theme before.
In the auction, North’s rebid is a double negative, showing a really bad hand. In the old days, pairs used two no-trump; now, three clubs is popular. Each has pluses and minuses.
Over three spades, it is reasonable for South to bid six spades, hoping that he will not have two heart losers. If North has three hearts, maybe the suit will break 3-3; and if he has a doubleton, there is a chance for a ruff or two on the board.
Some of my students immediately cashed their two top hearts, then ruffed a heart with the spade nine. That would have been correct in seven spades, but here it cost the small slam. East overruffed and returned a trump, leaving South with a heart loser.
The careful declarers ruffed the third heart with dummy’s spade jack. Then they returned to hand and ruffed their last heart. It did not matter that East overruffed, because South had the rest.