Bridge column, June 19: The rule fails but may still help
The only time I reset my watch before landing is when it would also require changing the date.
Yesterday we looked at the Rule of Eleven. Here is an echo, although from a different angle. How should East plan the defense against three no-trump after West leads the spade eight?
The auction is standard. With no singleton or void, North should just raise to three no-trump. For each deal in which five of a minor makes and three no-trump fails, there will be numerous others where three no-trump succeeds and five of a minor goes down.
East should start by applying the Rule of Eleven. Eight from 11 is three. So, if West's lead is fourth-highest, there will be only three spades higher than the eight in the North, East and South hands combined. However, East can see four: dummy's 10 and queen, and his nine and ace. The lead cannot be fourth-highest; it must be top of nothing.
Ergo, there is no point in East's plugging away at spades. He should win the first trick and shift to the heart queen, which naturally works beautifully here.
** ** **
COPYRIGHT: 2012, UNITED FEATURE SYNDICATE
DISTRIBUTED BY UNIVERSAL UCLICK FOR UFS