How can you avoid the ‘inevitable’?
By Phillip Alder June 15, 2012 1:26PM
Updated: July 17, 2012 6:01AM
Walter Annenberg, a publisher, philanthropist and diplomat who died in 2002, said, “Adversity tests us from time to time, and it is inevitable that this testing continues during life.”
Bridge tests us all the time, and it is inevitable that this testing continues during every deal.
True, some deals are easy, but most require careful thought. In this example, South is in four hearts. West guesses well to lead the spade ace and continue with his other spade. What should be the outcome?
West was a tad light for a two-level overcall, but he had a six-card suit. South might have rebid three no-trump, but North would surely have retreated to four hearts.
If South plays without thinking, he will immediately lead a trump. However, East will take this trick and give his partner a spade ruff. Then West will exit safely with a club and await a diamond trick to defeat the contract.
West’s opening salvo is surely from a doubleton. And although West might also have the heart ace, declarer should fear that he does not.
The secret is for South, before touching trumps, to cash his club ace, play a club to dummy’s king, and ruff a club with a high trump. Then he leads a heart.
Notice the difference. East wins and delivers the spade ruff, but West has only diamonds left in his hand. He must lead away from the king, giving declarer one spade, four hearts, two diamonds, two clubs and a diamond ruff on the board.
This extraction of an opponent’s safe exit cards is known as the Dentist’s Coup.