Neither vulnerable. South deals.


xA Q 9 5 3

uK 6 4

vA 4

w10 5 3


x10 8 xK J 7 2

uQ 9 8 3 uJ 7 5 2

vK 8 6 2 v7 5

wK Q 7 wA 9 2


x6 4

uA 10

vQ J 10 9 3

wJ 8 6 4

The bidding:


Pass Pass 1x Pass

1NT Pass Pass Pass

Opening lead: Three of u

Here is another deal from Eddie Kantar’s award-winning series “Thinking Bridge.”

South is not strong enough to respond two diamonds — a two-level response by a passed hand typically shows a five-card suit (no Weak Two opening) with 10-11 high-card points. After the one no-trump response, North has no place to go. South figures to have no more than two spades (did not raise), so rebidding two spades hints of a death wish. One no-trump is often the best contract on indifferent hands, especially when you don’t have to play them!

On opening lead, with a choice of two relatively equal-strength four-card suits, lean toward the major. Opponents are more likely to hold concealed minor-suit length.

Before playing to the first trick, declarer counts sure tricks. He has four — ace-king of hearts and the aces of spades and diamonds. Then declarer decides which suit to establish for the extra tricks needed. Here, it is a slam dunk to work with diamonds for three extra tricks. Diamonds are far stronger than spades, but there is another little problem — entries. When establishing a long suit in the weaker hand, there must be a return entry to that hand once the suit is established. The opening lead must be won in dummy (key play) and diamonds cleared by unblocking the diamond ace (high honor from the doubleton side) and continuing the suit until the king is driven out. With the ace of hearts still in the closed hand, South must take four diamonds, two hearts and the ace of spades.

If South wins the opening lead in the closed hand and leads the queen of diamonds, or starts on spades, neither play should be admitted in public!

2013 Tribune Media Services

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