If they have a plan, try to thwart it
By Phillip Alder May 18, 2012 2:46PM
Updated: June 29, 2012 8:37AM
Sue Grafton (what will she do after “Z Is for Zomething”?) said, “It never pays to deal with the flyweights of the world. They take far too much pleasure in thwarting you at every turn.”
Your opponents often have a scheme for making or breaking the contract. It is your job, whatever their weight, to try to thwart their ambitions.
In this deal, West has a tough play to find. The contract is four spades. West cashes his two top diamonds. What should he lead at trick three?
After North’s single raise, South’s hand is worth 18 support points: 14 in high cards, three for his singleton and one for his doubleton — just enough for a game bid. (If you count losers, the South hand has five. That is the number for a jump to game.)
It looks so tempting for West to shift to the club queen. But watch what happens. South wins in his hand, plays a heart to dummy’s ace, ruffs a heart high in his hand, returns to the board with a trump, ruffs another heart high, goes back to the board with a trump, ruffs a third heart high, enters the dummy with a trump, and cashes the last heart, discarding a club loser.
That was an excellent exhibition of suit establishment, South taking seven spades, two hearts and one club.
But declarer needed four dummy entries: three for heart ruffs and one to get back to the board to cash the long heart. West could have thwarted that plan by shifting to a trump at trick three (or two).
If you found that defense, you are a heavyweight bridge player!