East-West vulnerable. North deals.


xQ 3 2

uQ 10 8 6

vK J 10 2

wQ 10


x10 9 8 7 x5 4

u3 2 u7 4

v9 8 7 vQ 5 3

wK 8 7 6 wA 9 5 4 3 2


xA K J 6

uA K J 9 5

vA 6 4


The bidding:


Pass Pass 1u Pass

3u Pass 6u Pass

Pass Pass

Opening lead: Ten of x

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

Though it may look a bit strange for South to leap to six hearts without going through Blackwood, there is much to be said for bidding what you think you can make without giving away any additional information. Playing simple Blackwood, if South bids four no trump, the response is five clubs. Now East can make a lead-directing double. As it turns out, a club is the strongest lead. Without the double, it is unlikely that West will lead a club. South knows that the hand cannot be off two aces because South has three aces!

With nothing to go on, sequence leads are usually best. The idea is to avoid the diamond guess, even if you fancy yourself a great queen guesser. The guess can be avoided by the process of ”evening out” the club suit. South wins the opening lead, draws trumps and plays three more rounds of spades, discarding a club from the table. At this point North and South each has one club. Clubs have been ”evened out.” South exits with a club. No matter who wins, declarer is home. Either a diamond must be led, eliminating the guess, or a club, giving a ruff-sluff, also leaving no diamond guess. When given a ruff-sluff and the critical suit (diamonds) is unevenly divided, declarer must trump in the longer diamond hand (North) and discard from the shorter diamond hand (South).

Evening out a suit, and then throwing the opponents in with that suit after the hand has been stripped, is a neat way of forcing an advantageous return.

2013 Tribune Media Services

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