INSIDE THE HEADS
OF EXPERTS : A
LESSON IN THE
ART OF THINKING
( Article by Johnny Supremo )
Experts think about the hands : what is needed for a good match point score, what is needed to bring a contract home, or how to defend to beat it.
Take the above hand for instance.
Our first expert pair bid their way to a sensible 6H contract, which fortuitously came home given the availability of a spade ruff, and the favourable location of the club Ace.
Our second expert pair , who were looking for a bigger haul of the match points , went to 6NT, and initially there appears to be only 10 certain tricks ( 3D, 4H, and 3S ). Undaunted though, the expert looked for a way of making this ambitious contract. Magicians can conjure tricks out of nowhere and so did this declarer sitting South.
On the 8 of diamonds lead, declarer quickly went to work by cashing out the seven red suit winners, basing his plan on finding West with length in both black suits. Since neither of these suits had been considered safe for an opening lead, West felt obliged to make a passive diamond lead from his miserable 3 card suit . Inevitably, he had now come down to 4 spades and the AQ of clubs. So when declarer played a club up towards dummy's king, it was all over. No matter when the Ace was played, South would enjoy 2 club winners... to add to his 3 top spades..... for the contract to come rolling home.
However, we now come to a defender in the West seat of truly master class stature, who also saw the bidding stop at 6NT. He too chose a passive diamond lead, and declarer again took the first seven red suit tricks. But this West could see the pending squeeze in spades, along with fact his partner could well be holding onto at least one winner ( if not 2 ) in diamonds. By throwing away his Ace/ Queen of clubs, all he needed of partner was to have Jx in clubs.
His prayers were answered. Declarer can't make 4 spades, and neither can he enjoy clubs, because when East gets in he will cash his diamond winner to set the contract.
So who was this West ?...........well , if I told you initials were JS , then you have your answer !