East-West vulnerable. South deals.


xQ 8 6

uQ 8 7

vA K Q J 10

w6 5


xA K J 7 4 x9 3

u6 5 4 u3 2

vVoid v8 7 6 5 2

wK Q 10 8 4 w9 7 3 2


x10 5 2

uA K J 10 9

v9 4 3

wA J

The bidding:


1u 1x 2v Pass

2u 3w 4u Pass

Pass Pass

Opening lead: Ace of x

x from x K in unsupported suit at trick one only

We continue with our weekly hand from Eddie Kantar’s award winning series, “Thinking Bridge.”

The normal way to handle a major-minor two-suiter with opening bid values after your right-hand opponent opens is to bid the major and then the minor, hopefully at the three-level. Playing “Michaels,” if the opening bid is one heart or one spade, a cue-bid of opener’s major shows five cards in the other major along with five or six cards in an unknown minor. To discover the unknown minor, partner bids two no trump. The Michaels range is 7-plus to 11, or 15-17 high-card points. When responding, partner assumes the minimum count. With “tweeners” of 12-14 points, bid both suits. To make a takeout double with a two-suiter requires 18-plus high-card points. It is a rarity.

East plays high-low in spades so West knows East can ruff the third spade. However, when giving partner a ruff with a choice of cards, the size of the card returned is suit preference and asks for a particular return. A low card (S 4) asks for the lower- ranking side suit (clubs); a high spade (S J) asks for the higher- ranking suit (diamonds). As West wants a diamond return, he returns the jack of spades. It is not for East to reason why, it is for East to do or die! East ruffs the jack of spades and returns a diamond which West ruffs — the only defense to defeat the contract.

For more information about “Thinking Bridge” and other Kantar writings, go to

2012 Tribune Media Services

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