Share this article

print logo


A reader writes that her partner's mouth is big enough to sing duets.

"When she was declarer in this deal," my fan's letter reads, "she took the ace of diamonds and led a trump to her jack. West took the queen, led another diamond, won the next trump and led a heart. When East took the ace, she led a third diamond, and West ruffed for down one.

"My partner complained about bad luck -- out of both sides of her mouth. When I said a different line of play might work, she harmonized with herself some more: She accused me of being a result merchant."

Since South's contract is at risk only if she loses THREE trump tricks, her correct play, paradoxically, is to win the first diamond in her hand and force out the ace of hearts.

Say East returns a diamond, and South wins in dummy and leads a trump. Even when West turns up with A-Q-2, he can't put East in to get a ruff, and if the trumps lie any other way, South may lose two trumps but never three. (Try it!)

You hold: 9 6 3 K Q 5 A K 7 K 9 4 2. With neither side vulnerable, the dealer, at your right, bids one heart. What do you say?

A: Pass. You aren't compelled to act despite your 15 points. The hand is unsuitable for a double, with balanced pattern and poor spade support, and perhaps too weak for a 1NT overcall. If the opening bid were one spade, you'd have more reason to act with a double since you'd have no defensive values in spades.

North dealer.

Both sides vulnerable.

9 6 3
K Q 5
A K 7
K 9 4 2
A Q 2
10 8 3 2
8 3
J 8 6 5
A J 7 4
10 9 6 5 2
Q 10 3
K J 10 8 7 4
9 6
Q J 4
A 7
North East South West
1 Pass1 Pass
1 NTPass4 All Pass
Opening lead -- 8

There are no comments - be the first to comment