Goren­bridge /

Winnipeg Free Press - Section D - - DIVWINNIPEEG NS -

Nei­ther vul­ner­a­ble. South deals. WEST ♠ Q 10 7 5 2 ♥ QJ6 ♦ 10 3 2 ♣ J 10 Open­ing lead: ?

Here’s an­other hand from Eddie Kan­tar’s award-win­ningseriesThink­ing Bridge, de­signed for play­ers de­sirous of im­prov­ing their game.

“Six no trump is a nor­mal con­tract with 33 HCP be­tween two bal­anced hands. Notice that six no trump has 11 top tricks, but six di­a­monds is cold. It is not easy to un­cover a 4-4 mi­nor suit fit af­ter a one no trump or two no trump open­ing bid.

“Lead­ing against six no trump is not like lead­ing against three no trump. When the op­po­nents land in three no NORTH ♠ 643 ♥ K752 ♦ AK65 ♣ K3 SOUTH ♠ AKJ ♥ A43 ♦ QJ98 ♣ AQ9 The bid­ding: SOUTH WEST NORTH EAST 2NT Pass 3 ♣ Pass 3 ♦ Pass 6NT Pass Pass Pass EAST ♠ 98 ♥ 10 9 8 ♦ 74 ♣ 876542 trump, fig­ure they have about 25 high­card points. When West has 6 HCP, East fig­ures to have about 9 HCP and, you hope, a spade hon­our or two. When the op­po­nents land in six no trump, fig­ure them for about 33 HCP. In this case, West can fig­ure East for at most 1 HCP! A spade lead is no longer at­trac­tive. When lead­ing against six no trump hold­ing most or all the miss­ing-card strength, lead pas­sively un­less, of course, you have a per­fect se­quence. The jack of clubs stands out. When dummy comes down, both de­fend­ers have a pretty good idea of part­ner’s count within a point.

“With 11 top tricks, de­clarer has two chances for an ex­tra trick: hearts 3-3 or the spade fi­nesse. In or­der to test both, de­clarer at­tacks hearts first. That is the suit with more cards (seven, ver­sus six in spades). A heart is ducked at trick two, a tech­nique that al­lows de­clarer to re­tain con­trol. De­clarer wins the likely club re­turn, runs the di­a­monds and tests hearts. If hearts are 3-3, there are 12 tricks. If not, there is al­ways the spade fi­nesse to fall back on.

“With A x x fac­ing K x x x, A x x x fac­ing K x x , or Q x x fac­ing K x x x, the nor­mal way to de­velop tricks is to duck the first round of the suit fol­lowed by cash­ing the high hon­our from the short side and then over to the other hon­our. If the suit does not break 3-3, de­clarer re­tains the lead.”


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