TEXTBOOK DEFENSE FOR ALL PLAYERS
Eli Broad, the only person to build two Fortune 500 companies in different industries (KB Home and SunAmerica), said, “How absurd that our students tuck their cellphones, BlackBerrys, iPads and iPods into their backpacks when they enter a classroom and pull out a tattered textbook.” Do you agree?
The result in today’s deal rested primarily on South’s play at trick one. This depended on his reading of West’s diamond-three opening lead. Was that a singleton or low from length with an honor in the suit?
Suppose declarer judges it to be from length and plays low from the board. How should the defenders continue from there?
North might have raised one no-trump to three no-trump in the hope that his club ace would help shore up that suit. Here, that would have worked well. But using Stayman could hardly be called an error.
After East takes the first trick, he should return the diamond seven (or, even better, his other honor!), a suit-preference signal telling partner that he has an entry card in spades. West will ruff, shift to a spade and receive a second ruff to defeat the contract.
With this layout, if South wins the first trick with dummy’s diamond ace, he then has to guess the trump suit as well. The normal play would be: heart to the ace, club to the ace, heart to the jack. Here, as you can see, that works swimmingly.
What about Broad’s comment? In some ways, I agree, but children should not be allowed to use calculators to do math.