THE ABNORMAL IS HARD TO EXECUTE
Cory Doctorow, a Canadian-British blogger, journalist and science fiction author, wrote, "Abnormal is so common, it's practically normal."
At the bridge table, the abnormal happens rarely, and most of the time it is missed, especially on defense. It is hard to make a play that would normally be suicidal but is the only winner on a given deal.
How should West analyze this layout? South is in four spades. West leads the club queen. South wins with his ace and plays a low trump. From where should West hope to find four tricks?
North's Jacoby Forcing Raise showed four-plus trumps and at least game-forcing values. South, with a minimum opening bid and no short suit, jumped to game.
Most defenders sitting West would immediately play second hand low at trick two. Then, though, declarer would win on the board and lead another trump. He would lose only one spade and two hearts.
When the dummy appears, the defenders should ask for a timeout so that they can analyze the deal. Here, West can see two defensive tricks: his spade ace and heart king. He should next count the high-card points. He has 10, and dummy holds 14. That leaves 16 for the other two players. East can have just one high card. Which one would be useful?
Only the heart ace. West must win the second trick and shift to the heart king. Here, that works perfectly; the defenders take the spade ace, two top hearts and a heart ruff. But if it turned out that South had the heart ace, this play would cost only an overtrick.
Keep counting those points.