The Adventures of Team Porcupine, Part XV: Declarer’s Perspective
By Ray Adams
When players declare bridge hands, it is only natural that they plan the play from the perspective of the 13 cards they hold in their own hand. Due to modern methods, such as transfer bids, a declarer may frequently hold the hand that is short in trumps. When something like this occurs, two declarers may well play the same contract in different ways due to the fact that one of them is playing from the long trump side and the other from the short trump hand.
In the first auction, when Kowalski/Nograwowicz were North/South, Nograwowicz chose to open 1NT even though he had two doubletons in the majors. Kowalski thought about searching for a spade fit by bidding two clubs, but then he realized he might end up declaring a heart contract if Nograwowicz had less than four spades. Therefore, he settled for a transfer to hearts and later jumped to game. This left Nograwowicz to declare from the short trump side.
West led the king of clubs, declarer winning the ace. He cashed the ace of diamonds, tossing a club from the dummy. Next came the jack of diamonds. Declarer tossed another club when West followed low. East won the king and returned a club, ruffed in dummy. Nograwowicz next played the ace of hearts and a heart to the king. He led the ten of diamonds, covered by the queen and ruffed in dummy. Next came a small spade, declarer’s king winning when East ducked.
Nograwowicz now cashed the good nine and three of diamonds, shedding spades from the dummy. East took a trump and the ace of spades, but Nograwowicz had somehow made his vulnerable heart game.
At the other table, South chose to open a minor instead of one no trump and this led to North declaring the hand. From North’s point of view, the best play seemed to be to ruff spades in the dummy. This line of play failed and North was down one. Thus, Team Porcupine picked up 12 imps on this hand. From their point of view, this was certainly a good result.