Keep on counting winners for success
Philip Dormer Stanhope, 4th Earl of Chesterfield, was a British statesman who died in 1773. He said, “Never seem more learned than the people you are with. Wear your learning like a pocket watch and keep it hidden. Do not pull it out to count the hours, but give the time when you are asked.”
When you pull cards out of a duplicate board (or pick them up after shuffling and dealing), you count your high-card points. Then, assuming partner bids, you add his count to yours and decide how high to bid. In the play, you count winners and losers.
In this deal, how should South play in four spades after West annoyingly leads a trump?
South’s two-club rebid was New Minor Forcing. North then showed three-card spade support.
Declarer has to lose only two spades and one heart. With, say, a club lead, he would have immediately played the ace and another heart. East would have taken that trick and shifted to the spade king, but South would have won with his ace, ruffed his last heart and played another trump to get home.
Now that line will not work. Instead, South ducks the first trick, takes East’s spade continuation with the ace, unblocks the club ace and uses dummy’s three diamond entries to ruff clubs in his hand. Then he cashes the heart ace before leading his diamond jack. If East discards on this, it is declarer’s 10th trick; or, if East ruffs, dummy’s last trump becomes a winner. South takes one spade, one heart, three diamonds, one club, three club ruffs in hand and that extra trick. It is a dummy reversal.