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BRIDGE



Published: Fri, March 15, 2013 @ 12:00 a.m.

BRIDGE

North-South vulnerable. South deals.

NORTH

xK Q 10 4 2

u7 6 5

vA K

w8 3 2

WEST EAST

xA 9 5 x8 7 6

uQ 9 8 3 2 u10

v7 6 3 vQ 5 4 2

wK 5 wA Q 7 6 4

SOUTH

xJ 3

uA K J 4

vJ 10 9 8

wJ 10 9

The bidding:

SOUTH WEST NORTH EAST

Pass Pass 1x Pass

2NT Pass Pass Pass

Opening lead: Three of u

Here’s another deal from Eddie Kantar’s award-winning series “Thinking Bridge,” designed for players who would like to improve their playing skills.

South’s passed-hand leap to two notrump shows a balanced 11-12 count, usually 11 as most 12-point hands open these days. Incidentally, a two-level response in a major, two hearts in this case, passed hand or not, guarantees at least five cards in the suit.

The opening lead is normal. How can West know that a heart opening lead is heading smack into declarer’s strongest suit? After winning the opening lead South starts spades by leading the jack — the high honor from the short side.

After winning the ace of spades, West counts declarer for four spades, three hearts and at least two diamond tricks — nine running tricks the next time either North or South gains the lead. If East entertains any hope of defeating this contract, it must be in clubs and must be right now! South, a passed hand, has already turned up with 9 high-card points (the A K J of hearts and jack of spades) so can’t have the ace of clubs. If East has the queen of clubs as well, a shift to the king of clubs and a club might hit the jackpot and defeat the contract. Go for it! As it happens, the defenders can race off five clubs and defeat the contract one trick.

Counting declarer’s tricks and points is a must do. Try it.

2013 Tribune Media Services


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