A Companion For Yesterday’s Deal
by Phillip Alder June 1, 2012 1:26PM
Updated: July 3, 2012 8:38AM
Loretta Young, who won the best actress Oscar in 1948, said, “If you have enthusiasm, you have a very dynamic, effective companion to travel with you on the road to Somewhere.”
This deal is a companion for yesterday’s — or an antithesis, if you prefer.
How should East and West play to defeat three no-trump after West leads the spade four: seven, jack, king?
Some players make a takeout double when 5-4 in the majors, but I prefer to show the five-card suit immediately (especially when, as here, West is so short in clubs, the third unbid suit).
North should raise to three no-trump, hoping that his six winners will be sufficient.
South should take the first trick with his king. When you are in no-trump, winning immediately with the ace is usually an indication that you are very strong in the suit; otherwise, you would have made a holdup play.
South starts with eight top tricks: two spades and six clubs. So, at trick two, he leads a low diamond toward the dummy, hoping West is an advocate of second hand low.
However, West knows that declarer has eight winners in the black suits. (If East had the spade ace, he would have won the first trick, not put in his jack.)
So West must dive in with the diamond ace, then shift to the heart two. When you lead a low card during a deal, you are saying that you have honors in this suit and are trying to take tricks in it. East ought to win with his ace and return the heart three, not go back to spades.