AVOID BEING TRAPPED IN THE WRONG HAND
Steven Wright said, “Someone asked me, if I were stranded on a desert island, what book would I bring ... ‘How to Build a Boat.’”
In bridge, one occasionally gets stranded on a desert island -- the wrong hand. In this deal, South was in six spades, and West led the heart 10. What happened?
North’s response of two notrump was the Jacoby Forcing Raise. South’s four-spade rebid indicated a minimum with no side-suit singleton or void. North used Roman Key Card Blackwood to learn that his partner had two key cards (an ace and the trump king, or two aces) and the trump queen.
It is easy to get careless on this deal. South seems to have 12 tricks: four spades, two hearts, three diamonds, two clubs and a heart ruff in the dummy.
That is exactly what the original declarer thought. He led a trump from the board at trick two ... and could no longer make the contract! After taking this trick, South played a heart to dummy’s ace and led another trump. However, East won with his ace and exited with a trump. South ruffed his heart jack with dummy’s last trump, but was stranded on the board. When he tried to take the club ace and club king, East inconsiderately ruffed to defeat the slam.
At trick two, South should cash the heart ace. Then he plays a trump. Assuming he wins that in hand, he ruffs the heart jack and leads another trump, which East does best to duck. Now, though, declarer plays a club to the ace and cashes the diamond king-queen before leading dummy’s last trump. East has no defense.