THE NEA BRIDGE by Phillip Alder
TWO EGGS ARE BETTER THAN ONE
Andrew Carnegie said, “The way to become rich is to put all your eggs in one basket and then watch that basket.”
That certainly swims against modern thinking that recommends diversifying. At the bridge table, sometimes you have to decide between two strains. If your choice is between a suit and no-trump, why might you pick one over the other?
Having a trump suit gives you more control. But if it breaks badly, there might be no way to recover. In no-trump you may have an alternative source of tricks that will allow you to get home.
In today’s deal, South went for six no-trump, not for fear of a bad spade split, but to protect his club holding from an attack by East’s opening lead. Obviously, South did not know that his partner had the queen.
How should South play in six no-trump? West leads the club 10. East wins with his ace and returns a club.
Here, if South had put his partner into six spades and East had led the club ace, North would have had to guess the trump suit correctly. In six no-trump, declarer, after losing the first trick, had 10 top tricks. His first thought was to try to run the spades. And the percentage play was to cash his king, then to play low to dummy’s ace. Here, luck was out. What now?
South had to take four diamond tricks. So he called for dummy’s 10. If East had played low, it would have been easy. But East covered. South won with his ace, led a heart to dummy’s queen and played a diamond to his eight. The second egg did not crack, so the slam was made.