Hope for card to be well-placed
Carmine Gallo, an expert in business communications and leadership skills, said, “Nothing is more dramatic than a well-placed pause.”
That pause might also be critical in a comedy. At the bridge table, though, we might need one card to be well-placed. In this deal, South was in six hearts. Which one card did he hope East held? How did South play after West led the spade 10?
South’s jump to four hearts, a superaccept, promised four-card support and a good hand for hearts. I believe, though, that the hand should have had a doubleton.
Declarer had 10 top tricks: two spades, six hearts and two diamonds. He could have established a club winner and had two finesses that he might have tried.
There was a temptation to take the spade finesse at trick one, but South realized that that could wait. If he could just find East with the club ace, the contract was safe.
Declarer took the first trick with his spade king, drew trumps ending on the board and led dummy’s club. East defended well by not taking the trick. However, South won with his king, ruffed the club three, played a trump to his hand, led the club queen and, instead of ruffing it, discarded dummy’s low diamond.
East took the trick, but was endplayed. If he led a spade or diamond, it would have been away from his queen into dummy’s tenace. So he tried the club jack, but declarer ruffed in his hand (a seventh trump trick) and discarded the spade jack from the dummy. He claimed two spades, six hearts, two diamonds, one club and the club ruff.