Both vulnerable. South deals.


xJ 5

uK 9 3

vA J 10 8 2

wJ 10 6


x10 7 3 2 xQ 8

u10 7 6 5 uA J 8 4

vQ 7 vK 5 4

wQ 7 4 w9 8 5 2


xA K 9 6 4

uQ 2

v9 6 3

wA K 3

The bidding:


1S Pass 2D Pass

2NT Pass 3NT Pass

Pass Pass

Opening lead: Five of H

A reader writes: “What is the Rule of 11 and when does it operate?”

It is a method of placing high cards in the suit led when you employ fourth-best leads. Simply deduct the spot of the card led from 11 and the difference is the number of cards higher than the one led held by the other three hands. Consider this deal:

North-South were playing weak-no-trump opening bids, hence South’s two no trump rebid showed the equivalent of a strong one no trump opener. Although minimum for his two-over-one response, North had an easy raise to game.

Deducting five from 11, East knew there were six cards higher than the five in the other three hands. Since he could see five of them in his hand and dummy, declarer held only one, most likely either the queen or the ten. To prevent declarer from scoring two tricks in hearts, East followed with the four, so that he could cover both remaining cards in dummy.

Declarer won with the queen and led the nine of diamonds. Had West followed low, there would have been no story — declarer would get home with four diamonds, two spades, two clubs and a heart. But West inserted the queen, and declarer had no recourse. If he rose with ace in dummy, East would hold up the king in diamonds and, since there was no entry to the table, to all intents and purposes the dummy would be dead. If, instead, he allowed the queen to win, the defenders would cash three hearts and two diamonds for a one-trick set. Try it.

2013 Tribune Media Services

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