How can partner help you to win?
Jack Benny said, “Give me golf clubs, fresh air and a beautiful partner, and you can keep the clubs and the fresh air.” Give me playing cards, a bridge table and an expert partner, and you can keep the golf course! A good bridge player will wonder how to make partner’s life easy by describing his hand accurately in the bidding, or signaling clearly on defense. At other times, though, he must ask himself what cards partner needs to hold in order to defeat the contract. This deal is a good example. After a lengthy auction, South is in four hearts. West leads the diamond ace and cashes the diamond king, East playing up the line to show that he started with a tripleton (because with a doubleton, he would have played high-low). What should West do next? In the auction, North might have made a negative double on the first round to show spades. However, with such a strong hand, it is preferable to bid his suits in length order: first clubs, then spades.
West should count up the highcard points. He has 12, and dummy has 16. That leaves only 12, yet South opened the bidding. East’s job is to avoid reneging. To beat the contract, the defenders, with no more side-suit winners available, need two trump tricks. Which card must West hope that his partner holds? West should lead a third diamond, take the first round of trumps, and play a fourth diamond, hoping his partner can ruff with the heart nine. This effects an uppercut, gaining a trick for West’s heart 10. Keep counting those points.