THE NEA BRIDGE by Phillip Alder
USING TRUMP SUITS TO MAKE CONTRACTS
As regular readers know, I do a lot of bridge teaching. In the summer, I travel around the country running “bridge camps without tents.” They usually last three days, but I did one for only two days in Birmingham, Ala., in October. In the winter, I teach in Florida and my car gets almost as good a workout as I do.
The first lesson I taught this season in Florida, early last month, featured deals in which declarer had to handle the trump suit with care. This week, let’s look at six of them.
First, how should South try to make four spades after West takes the first three tricks with his high clubs, then shifts to a heart?
In the auction, South might rebid three no-trump, which works well here as long as North takes a spade finesse. And, yes, South might initially respond two spades, a strong jump shift showing 13-16 high-card points and either an excellent one-suiter or a good two-suiter with length in both responder’s suit and opener’s suit.
South, who needs the rest of the tricks, must draw trumps without loss. With eight cards missing only the queen, declarer should finesse, not play for the drop — “eight ever.” But should he finesse immediately, or only after first cashing the ace?