More pointers for plays on points
Napoleon Hill, a self-help author who died in 1970, said, “Strong, deeply rooted desire is the starting point of all achievement.”
That is so true. You have to want to improve. At the bridge table, for example, everyone can count, but only good players do it a lot. Checking top tricks in a no-trump contract or losers in a suit contract is not difficult or time-consuming. Doing only that would improve many players’ results. This week, though, we are taking the next step up the achievement ladder by working out how to make a contract by tracking the high-card points held by the defenders.
In today’s example, South is in four hearts. West starts the defense with his three top spades. After ruffing the third, how should South continue?
Note North’s response over West’s takeout double. Two notrump, the Truscott convention, showed a maximum pass with at least four-card heart support. Instead, if North had jumped to three hearts, that would have been pre-emptive: a weak hand with four trumps. Remember, two no-trump was not needed in a natural sense, because North would have started with redouble to show 10 points or more.
South can afford to lose only one club trick. But does West have the queen or ace?
The key is West’s initial pass as dealer. He has already produced nine points in spades. If he had the club ace, he would have opened the bidding. So, South should draw trumps, then play a club to dummy’s jack. If that loses to the queen, the contract was unmakable.