The Internet has had a profound effect on our lives, primarily for the better.
In bridge, there are websites and blogs everywhere. Exchanging interesting deals is easy. You can pose questions and await replies from players of all levels. You can discuss issues at, for example, bridgewinners.com. And Facebook contains a lot of bridge.
Information about the diagramed deal was distributed via Facebook by Vincenzo Serino of Italy. He found it in Hugh Kelsey’s book “Test Your Communications” (Cassell) and posted a YouTube video.
How should South plan the play in one no-trump after West leads the heart king, and East signals with the jack? Be careful; the key play is easy to miss.
South must hope to win these seven tricks: two spades, one heart and four clubs. However, he risks losing three hearts, one club and three or more diamonds. (To make this contract problematic, West must have the ace-queen-jack of diamonds.)
So, since South has to make sure that East gets on lead only once, declarer ducks the first trick. West continues with the heart queen and leads a third heart to South’s ace. What should declarer do then?
It looks natural to play a club to dummy’s ten, but when East wins and cashes his last heart, South has to discard his low spade. (If he throws a club, he gets only two spades, one heart and three clubs.) Then, though, after East plays a diamond to West’s jack, West can lead his second club to destroy declarer’s communications. If South takes the trick in his hand to unblock the spade king, he gets only two spades, one heart and two clubs.
Or, if declarer wins with dummy’s spade ace, squashing his own king, he takes just one spade, one heart and four clubs.
Instead, South must cash his spade king at Trick 4, before playing a club to dummy’s ten. East wins, cashes his last heart (South and North pitch spades) and shifts to a diamond. If West wins with his jack and leads back his remaining club, declarer takes the trick with dummy’s ace, cashes the spade ace and runs the clubs to collect seven tricks.
Before watching the video, though, work out what declarer must do if West, after winning the second trick with the heart queen, shifts to his diamond queen. I’ve run out of column inches.