North-South vulnerable. North deals.


xA K Q


vK Q 10 9 8

wA K 4 2


xVoid xJ 8 2

uA 7 6 5 4 uK 8 3 2

v5 4 3 vJ 6 2

w10 9 8 6 5 wQ J 7


x10 9 7 6 5 4 3

uQ J 10

vA 7


The bidding:


1v Pass 1x Pass

3w Pass 3x Pass

4NT Pass 5v Pass

6x Pass Pass Pass

Opening lead: Ace of u

This is another deal from Eddie Kantar’s excellent series “Thinking Bridge,” designed for players eager to improve their game.

The lead of an ace at the five- or six-level does not guarantee the king. One frequently wants to lead an unsupported ace at these rarified levels. The king is normally led from the A K (x) at the five- or six-level.

North’s jump shift is a game force and four no trump is Blackwood. There is some confusion as to how to signal when partner leads an ace and a singleton in the suit pops up in dummy. Some play suit preference. However, when the possibility of a trump promotion exists — the case here — an encouraging card should be interpreted as a request to continue the suit.

If East plays the eight of hearts (standard signals), asking for a heart continuation, a second heart play from West defeats the contract. After dummy ruffs, East’s J 8 2 of trumps morphs into the setting trick. As an aside, the Blackwood response has marked South with the ace of diamonds, so a diamond shift by West can hardly be right.

2013 Tribune Media Services

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