Repetition can be good, be good
By Phillip Alder June 22, 2012 2:34PM
Updated: July 26, 2012 6:07AM
Recently one of my students gave me a New Yorker magazine cartoon by Bruce Eric Kaplan. A lecturer is standing before his audience with “1. Overview” on the screen, and he is saying, “First, I want to give you an overview of what I will tell you over and over again during the entire presentation.”
I sometimes worry about that, knowing I have covered some themes several times over the years. But usually I conclude that they are worth repeating because they are so important.
This week we will look at significant spot-card plays. How can the defenders defeat three no-trump after West leads the spade seven?
This auction ought to be automatic. Yes, here it works much better if South opens one diamond. North can make a three-diamond limit raise; South would rebid three hearts, showing a stopper in that suit and suggesting weakness in a black suit; and North would bid three no-trump, which is unbeatable. But if South opens one diamond and North responds one spade, South has no accurate rebid.
To defeat this contract, East must use the Rule of Eleven. Seven (the spot card led) from 11 is four. This means that North, East and South have four spades among them higher than the seven. And East can see all four. So, when declarer calls for dummy’s three at trick one (there is no hurry to put up the king), East must play his two. In this way, West retains the lead. Another spade play allows the defenders to take the first four tricks. Later, the diamond king is the fifth defensive winner.