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I was today’s East in a duplicate event, and my opponents were an elderly couple who retain their sense of humor. They did well to get to five diamonds, and my partner led the queen of hearts.
I signaled with the five, hoping West would shift to a spade, but he continued hearts — not best defense. (Had I known he held the queen of spades, I could have overtaken his queen of hearts to lead a spade myself.) Declarer ruffed, drew trumps and started the clubs. I showed out on the second club, so South lost a club and a spade for down one.
“No use crying over spilled nutritional supplement,” South shrugged.
How should declarer play?
After South ruffs the second heart, he can take the ace of clubs and the A-Q of diamonds, then lead a second club from dummy.
If I ruff, he plays low, later discards dummy’s low spades on the K-Q-J of clubs and ruffs a spade in dummy. If instead I discard, South succeeds by winning and then ruffing his low club in dummy.
You hold: ♠ K J 9 2 ♥ A K 8 6 5 ♦ 8 7 6 ♣ 7. Your partner opens one diamond, you respond one heart and he bids one spade. The opponents pass. What do you say?
ANSWER: I would judge this hand worth committing to game. It has only 11 points in high cards but strong trumps, prime values in hearts, a possibly establishable five-card suit and a useful singleton. Bid four spades. A raise to three spades would be invitational to game, not forcing.
♠ A 7 5 3
♥ 10 7 4 2
♦ Q J 3
♣ 5 3
♠ Q 10 6
♥ Q J 9
♦ 5 2
♣ 10 9 8 6 4
♠ K …read more
Source:: The Mercury News