If you help partner, it helps you too
Alfred Hitchcock wrote, “Seeing a murder on television ... can help work off one’s antagonism. And if you haven’t any antagonisms, the commercials will give you some.”
Alternatively, record every show you wish to watch so that you can fast-forward through the advertisements.
One of the arts of bridge is helping partner to find the winning play, so that you do not murder the defense of the contract. Too many players are concerned only with their problems and fail to take partner’s predicaments into account.
In this deal, for example, how should the defenders card to defeat three no-trump after West leads his fourth-highest spade?
During a team match some years ago, the first East made the natural play: He won the first trick with his spade king and returned the spade eight, the higher of two remaining cards. Then West, knowing that he had no side entry, played low to keep communication with his partner. This would have been the only winning defense if declarer had, say, the club king-jack. Then, when East got in with his club ace, he would have led his third spade. The defenders would have taken one club and four spades.
Here, though, this defense backfired when declarer immediately claimed nine tricks: one spade, three hearts and five diamonds.
The second East anticipated this occurrence. At trick two, he carefully cashed the club king. Then, when East returned the spade eight, West took the trick with his ace and returned a club to defeat the contract.