Daily Bridge column, March 17
By Phillip Alder
Jean-Paul Sartre wrote, "Three o'clock is always too late or too early for anything you want to do."
I guess that's true, except perhaps to play golf during the summer.
In this deal, three is a key number. You are in three no-trump. West leads the spade queen. How would you try to bring home your contract?
Your sequence showed a balanced hand with a good 22 to 24 points.
You have only six top tricks: one spade, one heart and four clubs. You could establish three more tricks from the diamond suit, but surely if you let the opponents on play with that ace, they will take four more tricks in spades to defeat you.
The only chance is to find East with the heart king and to take the heart finesse. But you might need to take three heart finesses. This requires three dummy entries, which must come from the clubs. After winning the second (or first) trick with your spade ace, lead the club eight and overtake it with dummy's nine. You are on the board, so take a heart finesse. Next, overtake your club 10 with dummy's jack and take a second heart finesse. Then lead the club queen to dummy's king, take a third heart finesse, and claim. You managed your three dummy entries well.
Phillip Alder is teaching during the American Contract Bridge League's Sectional at Sea from July 19 to 26 aboard Cunard's Queen Elizabeth. The cruise starts and ends in Southampton, England, and goes to the Norwegian fjords and the North Cape. Details are at www.phillipalderbridge.com
Copyright 2011, United Feature Syndicate