The Prescott Courier – 7 Dic 1992

Phillip Alder
Phillip Alder

In 1989, James Kauder wrote a book called “The Bridge Philosopher.” It is an “over the shoulder” book. The reader listens to Kauder’s thoughts during the play of 61 deals. The major difference between this book and others of the genre is that Kauder isn’t always the declarer.

Twice he is confronted solely with bidding problems, once he has to find the winning opening lead, and 21 times he is the key defender. The text is chatty, mostly to the point, but occasionally with extraneous observations. The deals are challenging — except, perhaps, the first, which is entitled “A Simple Hand.”

Dealer South Neither Vul

6 5 4
9 7 2
J 10 9 3
6 5 4
J 3 2
J 10 8 5 3
A Q J 3
10 9 8 7
Q 4
K 6 5
10 9 8 7
A K 6
A Q 8 7 4
K 2
West North East South
Pass Pass Pass

Opening lead — five of hearts.

See what you think. Against your contract of three no-trump, West leads the heart five: two, queen, king. How would you continue? A three-no-trump opening with a powerhouse is arguably the worst bid in bridge. The risk is that East has the diamond king and West the club ace, and that when East gets in, he might make a telling switch to clubs.

The technical play is to cash the diamond ace, just in case the king drops. But, as Kauder points out, if it doesn’t drop, the defenders will know all about your strong suit. West might even have a chance to signal for clubs. The practical play is to lead a low diamond toward the dummy at trick two. Kauder suggests that East, not being so sure about the diamond posi-tion, would have to be a genius to find the club switch.